Orta had shock transfer interest in Leeds deal worthy of smashing club record

Date published: Wednesday 1st September 2021 3:26 - Jonny Whitfield

Luis Diaz of Porto, Jojo of Belenenses

Leeds United supposedly had transfer interest in Luis Diaz before Tuesday’s deadline, following the Porto winger’s strong links with Everton.

The Whites enjoyed a relatively quiet summer transfer window, despite a late rush to sign Daniel James. The former Manchester United winger has joined ex-Barcelona left-back Junior Firpo in Marcelo Bielsa’s squad. Meanwhile, Jack Harrison finally made a permanent move to West Yorkshire from Manchester City.

However, Leeds had strong links with further signings up front throughout the summer window. Club Brugge’s Noa Lang featured on their radar, but he stayed in Belgium.

According to Record (via Sport Witness), Leeds also looked at Colombia international Diaz.

His name cropped up several time in Everton circles, with boss Rafael Benitez reportedly showing interest. In fact, the Toffees tried unsuccessfully to include James Rodriguez in a deal.

Record claims that Leeds remained in the background. However, the club – led by director of football Victor Orta – never got as far as making a bid.

By doing so, they would have had to activate Diaz’s €80million (£68million) release clause and subsequently smash their transfer record.

Last summer’s signing Rodrigo still holds that record at £27million, with James costing a reported £25million.

Luis Diaz battles with Lionel Messi during Colombia vs Argentina in the Copa America, July 2021

Everton did not eventually get a deal over the line for Diaz, either. Instead, Demarai Gray, Andros Towsend and Salomon Rondon acted as their attacking additions.

Indeed, Rondon arrived as a deadline day signing having previously built up a working relationship with Benitez.

Diaz has scored two goals and assisted one other for Porto in four league games so far this season. He has three years left on his contract.

Bamford excited by James transfer

Victor Lindelof, Daniel James, Anthony Martial, Manchester United

Elsewhere, Leeds striker Patrick Bamford has expressed his excitement at having another attacker to feed off at Elland Road.

The Englishman was speaking after he earned his first Three Lions call-up for the upcoming international break.

“I think it would be easy to say he brings extreme pace but we have played against him a few times in the Premier League and you can see he has quality as well,” Bamford said of James.

“I am sure he has a lot to offer and hopefully he can provide a fair few assists.”

Who won the transfer window? Aston Villa? Man Utd? Daniel Levy?…

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