Leeds rival West Ham for Espanyol man seen as ideal replacement for star

Date published: Monday 29th March 2021 12:44 - James Marshment

Raul de Tomas, Espanyol

Leeds United are reported to be exploring the possibility of signing Raul de Tomas this summer as a possible replacement for one of their star men.

The Espanyol forward opted to stay at RCDE Stadium this summer after his side’s relegation from LaLiga. And De Tomas has led his side’s charge to secure promotion from the front, with 16 goals and two assists from 29 appearances. That form appears to have attracted plenty of admirers, with three Premier League sides all reported to be showing an interest.

As per Fijaches, De Tomas’ form has already caught Leeds’ eye. They state their director of football Victor Orta is looking at the possibility of bringing the 26-year-old to Elland Road this summer. And De Tomas was also mentioned as a possible target last summer too.

Leeds, however, are not alone with the Spanish outlet also claiming Leicester and West Ham are also vying for his signature. The Foxes are looking for reinforcements ahead of a possible return to the Champions League. They are currently third and well placed to secure that goal under Brendan Rodgers.

West Ham, meanwhile, still need a striker to replace Sebastien Haller. The French striker departed for Ajax in January, leaving the Hammers with a lack of central striking options. They have pursued a number of names, including Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri – but they could have more luck with De Tomas.

Indeed, Fijaches reports that De Tomas is ready to try his luck abroad once again. He previously played for Benfica, though struggled with the transition to Portugal. That prompted a club-record €20m move to Espanyol in January 2020. Despite being unable to prevent them suffering the drop, he stayed loyal to the Blanquiazules.

However, if the money is right, he could be on the move again this summer.

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De Tomas tipped to replace Rodrigo

Indeed, the article suggests Leeds’ interest has emerged amid claims that record signing Rodrigo Moreno could be set to return to Spain.

The Spain striker signed in a £27.1m deal from Valencia this summer and has endured an indifferent first season at Elland Road. At his best, Rodrigo has been an excellent addition to the side. However, a series of injuries – as well as a lay-off with the coronvirus – have curtailed his game-time.

Rodrigo Moreno, Leeds

However, reports emerged at the weekend that he is unsettled in Yorkshire and seeking a return to La Liga.

Concerns over his form have also led the 30-year-old to become worried over his place in the Spain squad. His lack of fitness meant he was overlooked by Luis Enrique in their latest squad.

Now it’s claimed the forward fears for his place in their European Championship squad this summer.

Alvaro Morata and Gerard Moreno both now look to be ahead of Rodrigo in Enrique’s thinking.

Indeed, just three goals in 23 appearances for United haven’t been a great return. Rodrigo has though been asked to played in a deeper role in order to accommodate Patrick Bamford. Nonetheless, his record in front of goal has perhaps fallen a little short of what was expected.

Fijaches reports Real Betis and Sevilla are ready to make contact with Leeds over a return to Spain for Rodrigo. They also claim Leeds are likely to take a financial hit on their initial investment.

READ MORE: Leeds United making enquiries for ‘powerhouse’ England winger


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