Will Blackburn Rovers Be Able to Hold on to Ben Brereton Diaz This Summer?

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When the 2022-23 renewal of the English Championship got underway back at the end of July, restarting earlier than usual due to the Qatar World Cup this winter, Blackburn Rovers fans would have been delighted to see one man still in their matchday squad — talisman Ben Brereton Díaz.

The 23-year-old finally enjoyed his breakthrough season last year, scoring 22 goals — more than he had mustered up in his five previous seasons of senior football combined (17) — across the course of the Championship campaign as his side could fare no better than eighth under the guidance of Tony Mowbray.

Speculation had been rife that the Stoke-on-Trent born, Chilean international would leave Ewood Park this summer as his stature continues to grow in the world of football after discovering his South American roots, but with Brereton Díaz still around at the start of the season there was hope he might stay for one more year.

Ben Brereton Diaz

That optimism in Lancashire is quickly fading again, however, as the 23-year-old is once more attracting plenty of interest in the transfer market — with an official bid from a French Ligue 1 side potentially set to cause a frenzy before the window slams shut on September 1st.

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s Blackburn are top of the league unbeaten at this stage and are becoming more favourable in the English Championship betting odds, with Brereton Díaz netting twice in the opening three games. But Nice’s £8.4m offer could derail their hopes of returning to the promised land of Premier League football, as it might just be the start of a mass domino effect.

Despite being in the final year of his contract at Ewood Park, Nice’s first bid has fallen below Blackburn’s valuation of Brereton Díaz. But that is not the end of this transfer saga — in fact, this could be just the beginning of a battle to sign the Chile forward.

Nice might come in with a bigger offer after testing the waters with a rather tame £8.4m bid, but in doing so they have made their intentions of signing Brereton Díaz clear. So, the wealth of other clubs interested in signing the Chile forward will have to step up their interest now as well or risk being beating to signature.

Interestingly, Everton have already shown interest in the 23-year-old since Nice submitted their bid. The Toffees lost their talisman Richarlison to Tottenham Hotspur this summer and Dominic Calvert-Lewin faces a spell on the sidelines after a freak accident in the build-up to the start of the season.

Therefore, Frank Lampard is on the hunt for a new striker and Brereton Díaz is believed to be amongst the former Chelsea boss’s options. However, current Blues forward Armando Broja is understood to be Lampard’s top target, while Neal Maupay and fellow Championship striker Victor Gyokores is another choice.

Frank Lampard

West Ham United are another English top flight side reportedly interested in the 23-year-old. But with Michail Antonio and new summer recruit Gianluca Scamacca coming in from Sassuolo, there are already two strikers vying to lead the line for David Moyes’ side.

Interest from Leeds United on top of all that and Tomasson admitting that ‘money will decide what happens’ means that we have not seen the end of this transfer drama. It would perhaps be more of a surprise to see Brereton Díaz remain at Ewood Park than it would see to him leave. Watch this space.

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