By George Overhill

13th May, 2022 | 5:40pm

Leeds United interested in Real Zaragoza striker Ivan Azon whether they are relegated or not

Leeds United are interested in signing Spanish under-21 international striker Ivan Azon from Real Zaragoza, Heraldo reports.

The club reportedly view the 19-year-old as ideally suited for English football in either the Premier League or the Championship, so appear to be willing to move for him whether they are relegated or not.

Due to the effectiveness of “intense” and “aggressive” forwards like Azon United have underlined his name in red as a priority according to the report.

Azon has already made 66 first-team appearances for second-tier side Zaragoza and scored 10 goals, and has a reported release clause of just €10million.

According to Heraldo he is one of the lowest paid players in Los Manoz’s squad, and while the club were intending to provide him with a new contract a change of ownership has left them “paralysed” in terms of negotiations and future planning.

Victor Orta’s Spanish background and the club’s focus on the first and second divisions in Spain are cited as driving factors in the interest.

Intrigue

Striker is certainly a position that has caused the club nightmares this season, and if the recent slide back into relegation danger can’t be turned around it will likely get worse.

Patrick Bamford’s injuries have been a key contributor to the team’s miserable fortunes this year, and he could be a prime target for top flight sides should Jesse Marsch’s men go down.

It is perhaps an indication of the danger the club are now in that they are apparently looking at potential signings who would be interested in the move even if they are in the Championship.

It would be logical if they are in the second-tier next year that Joe Gelhardt would finally be given the run in the team that has seemed ready to commence for weeks now, but there is no guarantee.

While Sam Greenwood is another who could probably expect greater exposure, he is not an out-and-out striker, while Tyler Roberts’ future is unclear after he suffered a major injury not long after Marsch’s arrival.

Azon also has the benefit of already playing for a side known as The Whites (Los Blanqillos), and while his scoring record is not outstanding so far, if he matches the description in Heraldo’s report he does sound like the kind of player who could flourish in England.

With age on his side, and potentially available for a low price, it sounds like a sensible transfer to investigate, even if it represents a disappointing step down from the likes of Brenden Aaronson.

In other Leeds United news, a former FIFA referee has blamed the latest damaging loss on one United player who showed a “lack of self control”.