Leeds United want to sign Said Benrahma above any other attacker this summer but they have back-ups if the Brentford attacker goes elsewhere.
According to Phil Hay, number two on the list is Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi, who Marcelo Bielsa knows from his time at Marseille.
The 26-year-old is on a reported £90k-a-week at Chelsea but is entering the final year of his deal.
Talking on the latest episode of the Phil Hay Show podcast, the Athletic journalist said of Benrahma, “[They are] serious about him and have spoken about him and have made contact about him, but he has options and it is going to be hard.
“They’re being ambitious in the sense that they’re not going for easy targets, Benrahma won’t be 100% straightforward and it doesn’t feel as if there’s been any significant progress there.”
Asked about back-ups, Hay said, “One that’s definitely of interest is Michy Batshuayi down at Chelsea.
“Bielsa knows him from Marseille and he knows a lot about his game. He wouldn’t have to adapt massively. Despite it not happening for him at Chelsea he’s at a prime age, 26.”
Hay also said, “Leeds will want to see progress in the next week or two.”
Batshuayi has been linked with Leeds before when news from Get French Football was relayed by The Express.
They claimed that the striker had been offered to Victor Orta and that £25m would get the deal done.
We were sceptical at the time. With his reported wages, it seemed like a huge amount of money to pay for a striker who hasn’t been able to do the business at Chelsea.
However, his international record is good – 16 in 29 games for Belgium, one of the world’s best sides – and he’ll be looking to make a big impact with the delayed Euro 2020 finals taking place next summer.
Bielsa knows him well and he’s obviously convinced that he’s got the game to play at Leeds.
It does sound like Benrahama is still the one that Leeds want and Batshuayi isn’t a direct like-for-like. Benrahma is a wide attacker where Batshuayi is an out-and-out striker.
It doesn’t sound like it’s a case of going for both, either. Like Leeds, we’d prefer Benrahama but we imagine there will be a lot of fans who would love to see a marquee striker signing. Batshuayi, despite his record at Chelsea, is definitely that.
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