Our colleagues at SB Nation’s Through It All Together report that the club is in contact with Castellanos’s agent and that Leeds are willing to pay a fee of £12 million, or more than $16 million. Another report puts the fee at £10 million, or more than $13.5 million. If the deal goes through, Castellanos will join the club in the summer transfer window.
Leeds are looking to replace injured striker Patrick Bamford, who last played on December 5, 2021, and isn't expected to rejoin the club this year. The 28-year-old England international scored 17 goals for Leeds last season, and the team need to replace his production. According to the Athletic, Bamford’s ongoing absence is “a real issue,” and that the club “desperately needed a No 9” in recent weeks.
Leeds currently sit in 15th place in the Premier League with 23 points after 23 games, just six points above the relegation zone.
The reported interest from Leeds comes on the heels of the news that NYCFC recently rejected an offer from River Plate to buy Castellanos. According to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle, River’s offer of “close to $10 million” was too low. That follows an earlier report from Jeff Carlisle and Daniel Bocatto that NYCFC had already rejected a $12.5 million offer from Brazilian side Palmeiras.
Castellanos has been the subject of transfer rumors since the close of the 2021 MLS season, when the 23-year-old Argentine won the Golden Boot. Castellanos then went on a tear in the postseason, scoring four goals in four games. Earlier this week, Castellanos played in his first competitive game of the year and scored twice against Costa Rica side Santos de Guápiles in a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match played in San José, Costa Rica.
It was widely expected that Castellanos would go to Europe during the January transfer window, with West Ham United, Everton, Newcastle United, Juventus, and Fiorentina all linked to the striker, but no deal was made at that time.
In many ways, Castellanos is a good fit for Leeds: He’s a striker who runs, a forward who defends. Last year, Castellanos led MLS not only in goals scored, but fouls committed. That kind of passion will go over well in a squad managed by Marcelo Bielsa.
Read about this potential trade and more in the NYCFC Transfer Tracker: Official announcements, confirmed rumors, sketchy tweets.