special- Leeds United are looking to bolster their attacking options ahead of their long-awaited return to the Premier League, with Girona’s Cristian Stuani a number of names under consideration.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side roared to the Championship title, finishing ten points behind second-placed West Bromwich Albion, but it is recognized that Leeds need more options to cope with the demands of the top flight. .
Leeds win Championship title/Michael Regan/Getty Images
After Jean-Kévin Augustin’s complicated loan move ended, Patrick Bamford is the only senior striker in Bielsa’s squad, with Dutch teenager J-Roy Groot the only alternative, so Leeds are looking to make a handful of new signings. And sources confirmed to 90 Minutes that Stowani had played his way onto the radar.
Stuani, 33, has enjoyed an impressive season in Spain’s second tier with Girona. Since joining in 2017, he has scored 70 goals in 103 appearances, including 29 last season, and Bielsa is understood to have signed for the Uruguayan.
His knowledge of English football has worked in Stavney’s favour. Between 2015 and 2017, he was on the books at Middlesbrough, scoring four goals in 27 appearances in the top flight, although he spent most of his time in England as a winger.
Stewani spends time with Middlesbrough / Mark Thompson / Getty Images
It was current Leeds director Victor Orta who signed Stuani for Boro in the first place, and the Spaniard’s opinion of Stuani has improved after seeing his electric form for Girona.
Hopefully Stovani’s age will mean he is made available at a cheaper price this summer. Leeds don’t have an unlimited budget, but they are still desperate to give Bielsa as many options as possible in a bid to secure survival for next season.
Bamford is still expected to be Bielsa’s first-choice striker. He has started 43 games this season and scored 16 goals, but there is an acceptance that he will need extra support to make a similar impact in the Premier League.
Genk’s Jonathan David has been mooted as a more high-profile target, but the 20-year-old is expected to cost north of £20m and is favored to move to France instead, with a budget like Stuani’s. Options are seen as interesting options.
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