Leeds United circle Ben Brereton Diaz and Blackburn boss knows he could lose him
Blackburn Rovers manager Jon Dahl Tomasson knows he could still lose Leeds United target Ben Brereton Diaz this window if the money is right.
The Whites need another option up front after the latest, thankfully minor, injuries to Patrick Bamford and Joe Gelhardt, and the Chilean international has long been a player tipped to make the move to Elland Road.
He has been lighting up the Championship, scoring 22 in the league last season, and already has two this campaign including one in the 2-1 win over West Brom on Sunday (14 August), so looks primed to make the step up to the Premier League if one of the interested sides pays enough.
The Times’ match-report from their victory says: “Brereton Díaz has caught the eye of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leeds United and Bournemouth, and Tomasson is acutely aware that a cheque too big to turn down could soon land on the mat at Ewood Park.”
The Danish manager is then quoted in response to his top striker’s latest performance saying: “He is doing a tremendous job but at the end of the day, money will decide what happens.”
The Sun have previously reported that the 23-year-old would cost £20million.
It’s certainly not a cheap deal but the club were willing to pay a hell of a lot more to address their need at the position with the drawn-out chase for now-AC Milan forward Charles De Ketelaere.
Brereton Diaz is on a clear upward trajectory, having improved from one, to seven, then 22 league goals over the past three seasons, adding four international strikes in 14 caps since last year.
At 23 he is still likely to be developing, and while it is no sure-thing for any player to adapt successfully to the top flight, the signs are there that it could work.
In theory it could be exactly the right sort of move to bring in a player who is performing at the very top of the lower league, because he will want game-time but won’t necessarily expect to be an automatic starter.
Players from Champions League squads surely would do, so if Bamford is to remain top choice if and when he is fit, and Jesse Marsch doesn’t want to block Joffy’s chances too much, the Chile international makes a good deal of sense as part of a rotation.
It looks like his manager is resigned to the possibility, and if Brereton Diaz keeps scoring before the window shuts the chances surely increase.
United aren’t the only side hovering with Premier League spending power, so if somebody is going to drop that cheque that cannot be refused fans will have to hope it comes from Elland Road.