Recent reports coming out of Italy have suggested that Leeds United are believed to be plotting a move for Inter Milan forward Joaquin Correa, having recently seen Brazil international Raphinha depart the club on a £55m deal to Barcelona.
The 27-year-old – who made the move to the San Siro on an initial loan deal from Lazio last summer – is said to be available for a fee of around €22.5m (£19m), as per the report, with West Ham United also monitoring the Argentine.
Bringing in additional firepower has become a necessity for Leeds manager Jesse Marsch and sporting director Victor Orta following the exit of their talisman to Camp Nou, having also suffered last season as a result of the frequent absences of first-choice striker Patrick Bamford due to a spate of injuries.
While largely deployed as a second striker during his time in Italy, Correa can also lead the line himself and feature on the flanks, with such flexibility set to be a hugely attractive prospect for those at Elland Road.
Described as “formidable” by his current boss Simone Inzaghi, the 17-cap Argentina international enjoyed a promising debut season with the Nerazzurri after netting six goals and providing two assists in all competitions, having previously provided 48 goal contributions in 117 games during his time in Rome.
Formerly of Sevilla, Sampdoria and Estudiantes, the £76k-per-week menace would provide experience and quality to Marsch’s ranks, with it set to be a wise move for the Whites if they make him their seventh signing of the summer.
Should they do so, the Leeds manager could well be able to find his own Kai Havertz in the 6 foot 2 star, with the pair sharing a number of stylistic and statistical similarities according to FBRef.
Both players compare favourably to their positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues in a number of metrics, with Havertz notably ranking in the top 3% for pass completion, the top 5% for touches in the attacking penalty area and the top 10% for progressive carries.
Despite having played fewer minutes than his Chelsea counterpart, the Inter ace ranks marginally better in all three metrics, finding himself in the top 1% for pass completion, the top 3% for touches in the attacking penalty area and the top 4% for progressive carries.
That would suggest that both are dynamic forwards who are adept at driving their teams forward and can retain possession successfully, while also looking to get themselves involved in the thick of things in the opposition box.
Such a likeness would surely set pulses racing among Leeds supporters, as well as Marsch, with Havertz having impressed during his two years in English football so far, notably netting the winning goal in the Champions League final triumph for Thomas Tuchel’s side last year.
Like Correa, the German may not have been hugely prolific of late – with 23 goals and 14 assists to his name for the Blues so far – although he remains a real asset in attack with his impressive stature and running power, having begun to truly settle into life in the English top flight.
The hope will be that Correa can make a similar impact if he is to join Leeds this summer, with the £20.7m-rated man potentially the ‘bigger name’ addition that the Yorkshire club are craving.
AND in other news: Victor Orta plotting Leeds bid for “formidable” £19m sensation, he’s “one of the best”