Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa has ‘specifically requested’ the signing of Stuttgart forward Nicolas Gonzalez, according to Tuttomercatoweb.
Maybe Bielsa sees shades of a legendary Argentine in this £18 million-rated goal-machine.
“He reminds me of Mario Kempes,” Gonzalez’s former Argentinos Juniors coach Alfredo Berti told FourFourTwo three years ago.
While the Stuttgart talisman has a long way to go before he can stand alongside a 1978 World Cup winner in the pantheon of South American greats, he certainly possesses the instinctive movement, surging runs and lethal finishing that made Kempes one of the most fabled forwards of his generation.
Last season, Gonzalez scored 15 times in Germany’s second tier to fire Stuttgart back into the Bundesliga.
Those match-winning displays appear to have caught the eye of clubs all over Europe.
And, according to Tuttomercatoweb, newly-promoted Leeds are hoping to beat AC Milan, Napoli and Champions League quarter-finalists Atalanta to his sought-after signature.
The report adds that Bielsa himself, rather than director of football Victor Orta, has ordered the signing of his Buenos Aires-born compatriot.
Leeds’ bucket-perching boss appears to be planning an Argentine revolution in West Yorkshire, with Juan Foyth, Lucas Martinez Quarta, Matias Zaracho and Thiago ‘new Messi’ Almada joining Gonzalez on a Spanish-speaking hit list.
The Whites have missed out on one Albiceleste international, however, with the bullish number nine Adolfo Gaich moving to Russia instead with CSKA Moscow.