Exclusive - Leeds United are looking to bolster their attacking options ahead of their long-awaited return to the Premier League, with Girona's Cristhian Stuani one of several names under consideration.
Marcelo Bielsa's side roared to the Championship title, finishing ten points clear of West Bromwich Albion in second, but there is an acceptance that Leeds need more options going forward to cope with the demands of the top flight.
After Jean-Kévin Augustin's complex loan move came to an end, Patrick Bamford is the only senior striker in Bielsa's squad, with Dutch youngster Jay-Roy Grot the only other alternative, so Leeds are looking to make a handful of new signings and sources have confirmed to 90min that Stuani has played his way on to the radar.
33-year-old Stuani has enjoyed a handful of outstanding seasons in Spain's second tier with Girona. Since joining in 2017, he has bagged 70 goals in 103 appearances, including 29 goals last season, and Bielsa is understood to have signed off on a move for the Uruguayan.
His knowledge of English football has worked in Stuani's favour. Between 2015 and 2017, he was on the books at Middlesbrough, racking up four goals in 27 appearances in the top flight, although he spent most of his time in England as a winger.
It was current Leeds director Victor Orta who signed Stuani for Boro in the first place, and the Spaniard's opinion of Stuani has only improved after seeing his electric form for Girona.
There is hope that Stuani's age will mean he is made available for a cheap price this summer. Leeds don't have an unlimited budget, but they are still eager to give Bielsa as many options as possible in an attempt to secure survival next season.
Bamford is still expected to remain Bielsa's first-choice striker. He started 43 games this season and managed 16 goals, but there is an acceptance that he will need extra support of he is to make a similar impact in the Premier League.
Genk's Jonathan David has been under consideration as a more high-profile target, but with the 20-year-old expected to cost north of £20m and instead favouring a move to France, budget options like Stuani are seen as intriguing options.