Soccer

Leeds set to rival Chelsea for star high on Frank Lampard’s transfer shortlist

Leeds are reportedly considering rivalling Chelsea for Brentford star Said Benrahma in the summer transfer window as Marcelo Bielsa looks to strengthen his squad after his side were crowned Championship champions.

Leeds finished top of the second division by 10 points to secure their return to the top flight following a 16-year absence.

A number of targets are being checked out by the Whites’ scouting department to ensure their stay in the Premier League is longer than 12 months.

The Athletic claim Algerian winger Benrahma is being closely monitored by the Yorkshire side.

Chelsea are also considering a swoop for the 24-year-old as Frank Lampard is a keen admirer.

The west Londoners could be set to lose Willian when his contract expires at the end of the season and Benrahma is wanted as his replacement.

However, it may be difficult to tempt Brentford to part with their attacker, especially if they win the play-off final against Fulham on Tuesday.

Benrahma may be available for less than £20million should Scott Parker’s side come out on top and Brentford remain in the second tier.

The Bees star has recently been quizzed on his links away from Griffin Park but he insisted he wanted to compete in the Premier League with his current side.

“I was really flattered [to see myself linked with those clubs],” Benrahma said.

“But, at the same time, I am so focused about getting out of the Championship with Brentford that I do not pay too much attention. But it gives me confidence.

“It has always been a target of mine to play in the Premier League and I really wish to play in the Premier League with Brentford.

“It would be magnificent for Brentford because it would be the first time and we have really been working hard on it. I am still confident.”

The Athletic add that Leeds are also weighing up a move for Benrahma’s Brentford team-mate Ollie Watkins, who scored 25 league goals this season.

However, it is Benrahma who is deemed more attainable – but only if Brentford fail to secure promotion.

Another option being looked at by Leeds is Queens Park Rangers’ England under-21 ace Eberechi Eze.

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