Leeds United are ‘intensifying’ their pursuit of Hertha Berlin starlet Matheus Cunha, as Marcelo Bielsa aims to bolster his forward line ahead of the new Premier League season.
The Whites recruited in impressive fashion ahead of their first campaign back in the top flight of English football, signing Brazilian winger Raphinha and Spanish forward Rodrigo last summer.
But coach Bielsa is not satisfied with his current options and is pushing for the club to dip back into the transfer market once again. That, according to Brazilian outlet UOL, has led the Argentine to Hertha winger Cunha – and Leeds are prepared to back their manager and make a move.
Hertha are expected to demand between €25m to €30m for the 22-year-old, who was still able to impress last season despite playing in a hugely underachieving Bundesliga side. They finished the campaign in 14th position, having flirted with relegation to the second tier of German football.
Cunha started the season brightly, scoring six of his seven league goals in the opening eight weeks of the campaign. But his goalscoring touch faded as the season went on, and instead it was his ability to set goals up which took centre stage – he bagged six assists over the course of 2020/21.
His exploits have not gone unnoticed, despite Hertha’s overall struggles, as Cunha has been selected to represent Brazil at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. There, he’ll hope to replicate some of the form he first showed when he left RB Leipzig in January 2020 in a deal worth €18m – five goals in his first 11 appearances attesting to a fast start in the German capital.
For Bielsa, his pursuit of Cunha is a strong indication that he’s keen to add creative depth to a side who were superb in their maiden season back in the Premier League. But even the most ardent Leeds supporter will admit that the squad requires fresh legs, given the relentless style of play demanded by their 65-year-old boss.
Leeds were determined to capture Raphinha last season and were rewarded for their patience, something they may hope to happen again this time around with Cunha.