Reported Leeds United target Lucas Martinez Quarta has told Calciomeracto that he is open to the idea of moving to England – and his style of play perfectly alligns with Marcelo Bielsa’s free-wheeling philosophy.
In an ideal world, the Premier League newcomers would not even be in the market for a new centre-half this summer.
But the harsh reality is that, if Leeds fans are waiting for Ben White to make a triumphant return to Elland Road, they will most likely be disappointed.
Brighton have made it clear that they have no plans to sell one of Britain’s best young defenders to a potential relegation rival.
Fortunately, Leeds’ search for a replacement is already well underway with Martinez Quarta, an Argentina international who won the 2018 Copa Libertadores in 2018, right at the top of Marcelo Bielsa’s wishlist (El Intransigente).
While flirting publicly with Inter Milan, Martinez Quarta has refused to rule out a move to English shores, even if a lack of pace could hold have Leeds fans worrying about his suitability in a Bielsa’s buccaneering back line.
“Maybe (I could move to Europe this summer). Obviously, any South American footballer dreams of getting there. I like all three (the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga,” says the 24-year-old, who has another admirer in the shape of Inter legend-turned-vice president Javier Zanetti.
“I am inspired by Sergio Ramos, I say it often. As a style, I like (Nicolas) Otamendi very much, with whom I was lucky enough to play (for Argentina). Also Pique and Maldini.
“I am quite self-critical. Perhaps speed is not my best virtue, but I think I can read the game very well. I am not looking for physical battles, I like to anticipate the opponent.
“I am more positional than a fighter – maybe I should improve in this. Then, I have a good passing skills, I like to take responsibility for carrying the ball and starting the attacks.”
All in all, this feels like a very modern, technically-gifted centre-half in the Ben White-mould.
No wonder Bielsa wants him at Leeds United, then. Jeunes Footeaux reported this month that the West Yorkshire giants are willing to pay £11 million.