Exclusive: Leeds have 'Concrete' interest in Bundesliga aerial colossus
Leeds United are keeping tabs on Mainz forward Jean-Philippe Mateta, Football Insider understands.
The French striker, 23, has emerged on to the radar of the Yorkshire giants and is being tracked by recruitment chief Victor Orta and his scouting team.
An industry source has told Football Insider that Leeds’ interest in Mateta is concrete and he is starting to attract strong interest from Premier League clubs.
United are assessing forwards from Europe’s top five leagues who would profit from their tendency to flood the box with crosses.
A summer striker signing is more likely than in the current window unless a top target becomes available.
Mateta, who has been capped by France at Under-21 level, is 6ft 3in and dominant in the air as well as technically adept on the ground.
He has scored 10 goals from 16 Mainz matches this season, including seven goals from 12 Bundesliga starts.
They include a hat-trick against Freiburg in November although he has not netted since that match.
Mateta joined Mainz in the summer of 2018 for around £7million and has an increasingly impressive record for the club.
His 70 matches in all competitions have yielded 27 goals and he has scored at a rate of more than a goal every three games in the Bundesliga.
At Leeds, Patrick Bamford is the undisputed first choice spearhead but there is no realistic alternative as Rodrigo prefers to play deeper and Tyler Roberts is also more effective behind the main forward.
Leeds have dominated possession in most of their Premier League matches this season but have a low conversion rate of their chances.
That has been a dominant theme of the Marcelo Bielsa era, in which their ultra attacking style has made them a favourite for neutrals.