Leeds United are reportedly interested in Sporting winger Gonzalo Plata, who has been on loan at Real Valladolid this season.
What’s the word?
That’s according to Portuguese outlet Correio da Manha (via SportWitness), who have pointed Leeds out as one of a number of clubs interested in the forward.
Real Valladolid are favourites to sign the Ecuadorian and have a €10m (£8.5m) clause within the loan deal to purchase him.
The Whites are waiting to see if the Spanish outfit will exercise this clause, and if they cannot afford to fork it out, then Leeds have plans to swoop in and hijack the deal.
Gonzalo Plata and the flair and hunger that comes with being a South American winger could offer the perfect replacement for the reportedly outbound Raphinha.
Lauded for his eye for a pass, fast dribbling and the ability to contribute defensively by WhoScored, immediately Plata can be envisioned within a Jesse Marsch side.
With Raphinha’s touted move sure to demand a high price, the signing of the Ecuador international could directly replace the Brazilian whilst also earning Leeds considerable money back with regards to net spend. This would provide funds to be redirected elsewhere, as Leeds are a squad in desperate need of a revamp.
It is clear that Real Valladolid think highly of the player, however, they appear to be struggling to meet the valuation Sporting have placed on the player.
Their sporting director Fran Sanchez recently spoke about Plata and his qualities, stating:
“The game he played against Brazil confirms that he is a great player, very young, who has many more things to improve.
“He is a humble boy, everything has gone very quickly. We are very happy to have a player from his level with us to continue to be important, but on the issue of the purchase option I think it doesn’t make much sense to talk about it.”
He has enamoured those at Valladolid, and if they are as financially hamstrung as Sanchez suggests, this could prove a perfect opportunity for Marsch to swoop in and secure his Raphinha replacement, who has also been lauded as “lethal” by journalist Marina Marcos.
Although the 25-year-old’s 11 league goals may be tough to replace, perhaps the introduction of a more battle-hardened South American could offer wider benefits across the whole Leeds squad.