South American giants Boca Juniors have joined a host of Championship clubs in the race for former Blackburn Rovers striker Ben Brereton Diaz, according to TyC Sports.
The 24-year-old joined the 2021 Europa League winners Villarreal in the summer after seeing his contract expire at Ewood Park. He had caught the eye of a number of potential suitors after scoring 38 times for the Lancashire side in the past two seasons and the La Liga outfit announced his signing on a four-year deal in July.
His time in Spain hasn’t gone to plan though and he has made just two league starts to date. He is also still searching for his first goal, having made 19 appearances in all competitions.
As a result, a return to the Championship has been heavily rumoured, with Villarreal said to be willing to allow him to depart in January. It was reported last month that Leeds United, Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion are all keen as they look to bolster their attacking options in order to boost their promotion prospects.
According to Estadio Deportivo, Premier League duo Crystal Palace and Burnley are also keen and could make a move once the transfer window reopens in January. However, TyC Sports claim Argentina’s Boca Juniors are also in the running, although his Chilean nationality would make a move difficult due to tight rules within the league which means that only six foreign players can be registered within the squad.
It is also said that Villarreal would want a fee of €10 million to convince them to sell the ex-Nottingham Forest attacker, which could further hamper their chances.
Brereton Diaz did get the opportunity to play at the Bernabeu Stadium yesterday when he was introduced as a late substitute in Villarreal’s La Liga fixture against Real Madrid. He was unable to make an impact though, with the 14-time European champions emerging with a 4-1 victory.
Rumours continue to circulate that Villarreal are already prepared to cut their losses on Brereton Diaz, despite only being at the club for five months. A return to England is far more likely than a move to Argentina and there will be no shortage of offers should he be allowed to depart the Estadio de la Cerámica.
Although his time on the pitch has been minimal, the attacker will still be keen to showcase his worth in Spain and will surely be hoping he can remain until at least the end of the season. A loan move back to the Championship may help him rediscover his sparkle though, and could benefit both the club and the player in the long run.