Leeds: Orta dealt Brereton Diaz blow

Leeds United have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring Ben Brereton Diaz to Elland Road this summer.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a report by Football League World, who claim that, despite Victor Orta being heavily linked with a move for the Blackburn Rovers centre-forward in recent weeks, it is Wolverhampton Wanderers who now appear to be leading the race for the 23-year-old, as Bruno Lage’s side are said to have made an approach to the Championship outfit for the Chile international.

Previous reports had claimed that the Whites’ director of football had instructed scouts to cast an eye over the striker in pre-season action for Rovers ahead of potentially launching an official bid this summer, with Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side believed to be demanding a figure in the region of £15m in order to part with the 14-cap international prior to September’s transfer deadline.

Imagine him & Bamford

With it being abundantly clear that Orta is looking to add a new centre-forward to Jesse Marsch’s first-team squad over what remains of the summer transfer window – something Phil Hay confirmed in a recent article for The Athletic – the argument that Brereton Diaz could be something of a perfect partner for Patrick Bamford is an easy one to make.

Indeed, over his 37 Championship appearances last season, the £14.4m-rated forward was in electric form for Blackburn, scoring 22 goals, registering three assists and creating three big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.8 shots, making 0.6 key passes and completing 1.6 dribbles per game.

These returns saw the £6.5k-per-week talent who Tony Mowbray dubbed “extraordinary” average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.94 – playing a key role in Rovers’ admirable, albeit unsuccessful, charge for a play-off spot last time out.

The striker – who is also more than capable of operating from either the left or right flank – also got off to a fantastic start in Blackburn’s season-opening 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, with the 23-year-old making one key pass, completing two dribbles, hitting the target with three shots and earning a SofaScore match rating of 7.3.

As such, the prospect of Brereton Diaz lining up alongside the “deadly” Bamford next season – or even on the left of a front three consisting of the England international and £21m summer signing Luis Sinisterra, who scored 12 goals over 30 Eredivisie fixtures last season – is an incredibly tantalising one.

Indeed, with the fit-again 28-year-old undoubtedly hoping to recreate his goalscoring form of the 2020/21 – 17 goals in 38 Premier League matches – next time out, the addition of Brereton Diaz’s creativity and clinical nature in the final third would appear to be the perfect accompaniment to Bamford in the Whites attack – leading us to believe that Orta must do all he can to beat Wolves to the Chilean’s signature this summer.