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Manuel Pellegrini is a big fan of Lucas Martinez Quarta and Real Betis are lining up a £5 million deal for the Leeds United target, according to El Intransigente.

Surely Leeds didn’t think they would have a clear path to the signature of an Argentine international with a Copa Libertadores trophy on his CV already.

Jeunes Footeaux reported in July that the Marcelo Bielsa’s West Yorkshire giants were prepared to pay £11 million for Martinez Quarta, a technically-gifted, modern-thinking central who sounds every inch like Ben White’s replacement.

If EVERY Season Had A Champions League Play-Off

If EVERY Season Had A Champions League Play-Off

But the first offer is set to arrive from Andalusia rather than England.

Although, according to reports from South America, Real Betis’s £5 million bid is a lot less than the sum Leeds were willing to fork over for the 24-year-old.

El Intransigente claims that former Real Madrid and Manchester City boss Pellegrini, who replaced Rubi at a talented but underachieving Betis side recently, is a big fan of Martinez Quarta.

The veteran Chilean has apparently given a deal the green light, identifying the River Plate stopper as the man to succeed contract-rebel Aissa Mandi at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.

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But Leeds will not be losing much sleep just yet. They can blow Betis out of the water with an approach in the region of £11 million.

Then again, with interest emerging from one of Spain’s most ambitious and big-spending clubs, maybe it’s time for Leeds to turn their interest into something a little more tangible.

Photo by Diego Alberto Haliasz/Getty Images

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