Leeds, Brighton and Brentford set to battle three Spanish clubs for outstanding Serie A defender

Igor Julio controls the ball for Fiorentina Credit: Alamy
Igor Julio controls the ball for Fiorentina Credit: Alamy

Brighton & Hove Albion, Brentford and Leeds United are all pushing to sign Fiorentina defender Igor Julio this month, according to reports.

The Brazilian centre-back has become a regular for the Serie A side this season, putting in consistently high-level performances and attracting interest from a host of European clubs.

Now, the Premier League trio have ‘requested information’ about Igor, along with Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Real Betis.

According to reports coming out of ItalyFiorentina have ‘immediately raised the wall’ to retain their defender given the recent interest.

Igor’s current deal is due to expire in 2024, with La Viola having the option to extend it by another year. So, the Italian giants aren’t under any immediate pressure to sell him.

Nevertheless, Fiorentina would reportedly consider bids in excess of €20m for him this month.

A solid, ‘modern’ centre-back, the 24-year-old has made 20 appearances for the Italian club across all competitions this season, helping his team to keep five clean sheets so far.

Igor is also versatile, with the ability to play as a left-back, or even as a left midfielder on occasion, so he could provide cover in several positions for Brighton, Brentford or Leeds if they can get a deal over the line this month.

Igor could be a valuable addition to all three Prem sides this winter

It’s not yet clear whether Roberto de Zerbi’s side, the Bees or the Whites have made contact with Fiorentina yet, but it is believed that Igor would be keen on a move to the Premier League.

Brighton have been in excellent form this season, currently sitting in sixth place in the league table after winning nine of their 19 opening matches.

They are currently trying to keep hold of their in-demand midfielder Moises Caicedo amid interest from Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. 

However, The Seagulls are also currently in the market for their winter reinforcements, as De Zerbi aims to bolster his squad to help push for a spot in Europe next season.

With that in mind, Igor could be a solid addition to bolster Brighton’s back-line, to provide cover for Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster, Levi Colwill and Jan Paul van Hecke, who have all been in decent form this season.

Brentford, on the other hand, could do with some defensive reinforcements, too. Goalkeeper David Raya has been excellent this season, but the Bees have still conceded the second-most goals of all top-10 teams in the Premier League.

So if they, like Brighton, want to push for a European spot, they could do with another quality defender like Igor.

Perhaps the team with the biggest need for a new defender, however, is Leeds. They recently signed centre-back Max Wober, but given Jesse Marsch’s side are currently just one point clear from the relegation zone, some added cover would certainly not go amiss.

Fiorentina have a big decision to make over the next few days: sell Igor while his price is at a premium, or extend his contract by offering ‘excellent terms.’

READ MORE: One for every club: A player all 20 Premier League sides should look to sign before the January transfer window closes

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