Newcastle United and Leeds United eye World Cup star that rejected Manchester City

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The winger was said to be under the gaze of the Premier League clubs on Sunday.

Newcastle United and Leeds United are reportedly keen on a move for Ecuador winger Gonzalo Plata.

The highly-rated winger played the entire 90 minutes of his side’s 2-0 win over tournament hosts Qatar in the opening game of the World Cup Finals on Sunday afternoon and has been the subject of transfer speculation regarding a possible move to the Premier League throughout his career.

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After starring in Ecuadorian club Independiente del Valle, Plata reportedly rejected an opportunity to join Manchester City in 2019 in favour of a move to Portuguese giants Sporting. After taking his time to settle in Lisbon, the winger scored in a 5-1 win over Maritimo on the final day of the 2020/21 season as his club secured their first league title in 19 years.

A loan switch to Spanish second tier side Real Valladolid was secured in the first month of last season and that was converted into a permanent move after they secured promotion into La Liga as Segunda Division runners-up. The 22-year-old has provided two assists in 10 appearances as Valladolid have made a solid start to their return to the top tier and journalist Dean Jones has revealed that has led to interest from the Premier League.

He told GiveMeSport: “He’s 22 and ready to shine. He’s got pace to burn, he’ll mesmerise people with his trickery and he’s got a finish on him as well. Plata is one of those players you could watch for hours on end. Currently Plata plays for Real Valladolid and Newcastle United rate him already but Brighton already have three Ecuadorians so might fancy their chances of adding another if things go well for him in Qatar. A game-changer, a man who can produce something out of nothing – he is exactly what the World Cup is all about.”

Leeds were also linked with a move for Plata during the summer as they considered him as a replacement for Barcelona-bound Raphinha and are believed to have retained their interest in the winger.

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