Fulham target Gonzalo Plata has revealed he would like to remain with former loan side Real Valladolid next season, with the winger speaking to Cadena Ser.
The 21-year-old has been linked with a move to Craven Cottage as late as last month, with fellow Premier League side Leeds United another side reported to have been tracking him after seeing him impress in Spain.
Recording six goals and five assists in 30 Spanish second-tier appearances for Valladolid, he played a considerable part in their promotion back to La Liga and this didn’t go unnoticed by the English duo.
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The Cottagers, who have also been linked with the likes of Rabbi Matondo and Dapo Afolayan, are seemingly on the search for a new wide man to come in and provide them with more attacking firepower following the departure of Fabio Carvalho.
They will have the financial power to make Plata’s parent side Sporting Lisbon a tempting offer for his services after winning promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking – and Valladolid’s €10m permanent clause in his loan agreement is a fee Marco Silva’s side may be willing to part with.
However, the player has other ideas and made it clear how much he wanted to remain in Spain with his former side.
Speaking to Cadena Ser (via HITC), he said: “I’ve asked Ronaldo to do everything possible so that I can stay at Real Valladolid.
“I want to stay here. I feel the love of my teammates, the coaching staff and the fans.
“That’s the most important thing.”
If his heart isn’t set on a move to the Cottagers, they need to look at other targets because they can’t rely on players that aren’t 100% committed to the cause.
They will certainly have other irons in the fire though and this is one reason why these comments may not be too much of a blow to officials in west London.
Ideally, they need players who have already established themselves in the top tier to give them the best possible chance to remain in the top tier and Plata certainly doesn’t meet that criteria.
Although this is arguably more important defensively than going forward, with the 21-year-old potentially bringing unpredictability to Craven Cottage, having someone who has already proven themselves in the Premier League could help them to hit the ground running and take the pressure off the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Harry Wilson to score most of their goals.
And with the Colombian international’s stance confirmed, that will help to provide the Cottagers with more clarity.