By Saikat Mandal

12th Jul, 2022 | 6:10pm

Leeds United lead race to sign Porto midfielder Otavio

Leeds United are “leading” the race to sign Porto midfielder Otavio, according to a report from Record.

The Portuguese newspaper reported on 12 July (printed edition, page 16) that Otavio is being chased by the likes of Leeds, Aston Villa and Leicester City.

Portuguese news outlet O Jogo reported on June 22 that the Whites had submitted a bid in the region £25.8million for the 27-year-old. It was rejected as it didn’t meet the club’s valuation of the player.

The player has a release clause of £33m. However, that is valid till 15 July of this month. Thereafter, a new release clause will kick in, which stands around £50m.

Otavio, however, only wants to join a club that can offer him Champions League football. All the three aforementioned clubs cannot offer him that at the moment.

Replacement for Raphinha?

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With Raphinha likely to move to Barcelona this summer, Leeds are now looking at players to replace him.

The Whites have made as many as six signings already, but the departure of Raphinha will mean the club can afford to bring in a top player to replenish the void.

Otavio is a different type of attacking midfielder. The Portuguese international is a versatile player who can play at both wings and also as a central midfielder.

Last season he managed five goals and 11 assists in all competitions for the club.

Like Raphinha, he is someone who puts in a lot of defensive shifts. He is always on the lookout for passes, and has the ability to create chances for others.

He loves to tackle and can shoot from distance. At 27, he is playing at the peak of his form, but whether Leeds can lure him to join Elland Road is a big question.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites now want to sign this striker with a rival set to kickstart a major £30million+ transfer battle