Premier League outfit Leeds United remain interested in Blackburn Rovers attacker Ben Brereton-Diaz, according to reporter Pete O’Rourke who spoke to Give Me Sport.
The Chilean has just one year left on his contract at Ewood Park following Rovers’ decision to trigger the extension option on his existing deal this summer, with the ex-Nottingham Forest man yet to put pen to paper on a longer-term deal.
For the Lancashire side, they find themselves in a similar situation to last summer when Adam Armstrong had just a year remaining on his terms amid strong interest from elsewhere.
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Brereton-Diaz was a prolific figure in the early stages of last term and it previously looked as though he was going to be competing with Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic for the Championship golden boot before his goalscoring form dropped off.
However, that hasn’t deterred the likes of the Whites and West Ham United, who still saw the 23-year-old record 22 goals in 37 league appearances during a successful season for club and country.
And journalist O’Rourke is one man who believes that success could potentially take him away from his current side this summer, amid interest from elsewhere.
He said to Give Me Sport: “He is one on their (Leeds) list still as he is of several other clubs, including West Ham.
“He had a brilliant season at Blackburn last year, he’s established himself in the Chile national team as well and in this current market he’s going to be relatively cheap considering he’s in the final year of his contract, so Blackburn probably have to cash in on him rather than allowing him to run down his contract.”
Unfortunately, Rovers have endured a pretty slow start to the summer and that’s partly because they took quite a while to appoint a new manager.
Because of this, the board should take responsibility for their lack of incoming business at a time when they’ve needed to act, especially with Darragh Lenihan, Ryan Nyambe and Joe Rothwell all leaving the club.
All three were integral assets to the club and with the second-tier side not generating a single penny for them, they needed to act quickly to bring in free agents or loanees that would fill the void the trio created without forking out too much money.
With this lack of business, they need to focus on other areas apart from their forward area including their central defence and midfield.
If that incoming business had been completed already, they would be in a better position to sell Brereton-Diaz, identify a shortlist of targets and bring in the ideal replacement for the Chilean before the summer window shuts.
If Jon Dahl Tomasson is given a decent amount of the money generated by the forward’s potential sale to spend though, they should look to cash in because it would be difficult to see him signing a new contract at this stage.