Leeds have been boosted by claims in the Turkish media that striker target Mbaye Diagne has set his sights on a move to England in January.
The Senegalese hitman has netted eight times in six Super Lig matches this season for his Kasimpasa side – leading to both Leeds and Galatasaray both sending scouts to watch the 26-year-old in action on a regular basis this season.
According to Turkish Football, scouts for both clubs were in attendance at the weekend as Diagne struck an 89th-minute consolation in his side’s defeat to Alanyaspor on Sunday. And both sides would have noted the player’s impressive all-round contribution as well as his goalscoring heroics.
But according to the same source, the striker has made a move to England his No 1 priority and has already applied for an EU passport to circumvent UK work permit issues.
It’s now reported the Whites are seriously considering a move for the 6ft 3in striker in the January transfer window after seeing their attacking options depleted in recent weeks and their squad stretched to the full.
Injuries suffered by top scorer Kemar Roofe and £7m summer signing Patrick Bamford have left coach Marcelo Bielsa with only the largely untested Tyler Roberts up front. And while the Welshman has impressed with two goals in four matches since his inclusion in the side, the Argentinian manager is thought to have made the signing of a new striker a top priority in the winter window.
Diagne, who comes with a good pedigree, having first started his career in Europe at Juventus and was brought to the club by Antonio Conte, is thought to be rated in the €10m (£8.9m) bracket by Istanbul-based Kasimpasa, with the fee unlikely to deter Leeds if they think the player would be a worthy addition to their promotion cause.
The powerful frontman has also had a spell in China with Tianjin Teda, but left to join Kasimpasa in March in an effort to boost his hopes of a World Cup place with his country; a bid that ultimately proved unsuccessful.
Diagne isn’t the first player to be mentioned as a possible transfer target for United, with Wednesday’s Paper Talk also containing an interesting line around the future of James Milner.
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