Leeds United have advised River Plate that they will not be activating the release clause of Lucas Martinez Quarta, according to El Intransigente.
The Whites have been linked with several new additions since winning promotion last month, with the Argentine one of many.
Quarta’s release clause stands at £18 million and both Leeds and Real Betis have told the Buenos Aires-based team to expect bids of less.
With that in mind, River Plate are now worried they will be forced into selling one of their prized assets at a far cheaper price.
Several Serie A clubs are showing interest but Leeds are thought to have fancied the 22-year-old for quite some time.
Boss Marcelo Bielsa will be desperate to bolster many areas this summer but none more so than at the heart of his defence.
Ben White has returned to Brighton after his season-long loan, whilst Gaetano Berardi ruptured his cruciate knee ligament in a game at Derby County.
That leaves Bielsa with Liam Cooper as his only senior central defender, with a reinforcement or two looking like an absolute necessity.
Leeds won promotion with a relatively small squad and the hierarchy will want to ensure Bielsa his well-stocked ahead of next season.
TBR View – Leeds should act quickly before stern competition increases
With Serie A clubs starting to emerge among the race to sign Quarta, Leeds should move quickly.
The Whites need a centre-back and in the Argentine, they’d be securing a very highly-rated enforcer.
Capped twice by Argentina, Quarta is good on the ball, strong in the tackle and would be a decent addition to play alongside Liam Cooper.