Should Leeds join chase for Manchester City defender Pablo Mari?

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

If they are not already keen, should Leeds United join the Premier League and Championship sides looking at Manchester City defender Pablo Mari?

Leeds United manager Thomas Christiansen during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Leeds United at Griffin Park on November 4, 2017 in Brentford, England.

According to a recent report from the Daily Mail, Manchester City defender Pablo Mari is attracting plenty of attention from a number of clubs within the Premier League and Championship - and if they are not already one of the sides keen, Leeds should undoubtedly put themselves in the mix.

It has been an incredibly mixed season for the Whites. Thomas Christiansen's men were setting the pace during the early weeks in the second tier, but a torrid run leading into the international break has seen them fall out of the play-off places altogether.

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

Among the issues to have arisen in recent weeks has been the less than convincing performances coming from a defence that had kept six clean sheets in a row earlier in the campaign.

Strengthening their centre-back options should arguably be high on Leeds' list of priorities for the January transfer window, and thus, the news from the Mail that Mari has a fairly low release clause and could be available for a bargain fee should grab the Yorkshire side's attention - if they are not already tracking the 24-year-old.

The Mail reported that Mari - on loan this season at Eredivisie side NAC Breda - has impressed scouts with his leadership qualities, and that could arguably be considered an area where Leeds are lacking at the back. 

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

While Liam Cooper has improved significantly this season, it appears that losing Kyle Bartley at the end of his loan spell in the summer has had a negative impact on the squad, and finding another leader may not be a bad idea.

Whether Mari's low release clause falls into Leeds' budget is unclear, but the club should not allow him to join a divisional rival in January without making a bid of their own as it appears that he could be able to fill a void that the Whites arguably should look to address in the winter to boost their hopes of getting themselves back into the promotion mix.

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