Toumani Diagouraga last night sealed a loan move to Ipswich Town until the end of the season – exactly a year after agreeing to join Leeds United.
Diagouraga’s fall from favour at Elland Road was completed as the 29-year-old linked up with Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich and ended a long period spent training with United’s Under-23s.
Leeds invested £575,000 in Diagouraga last January, tying him to a contract until June 2018, but his outing at Queens Park Rangers on the first day of the season – one of 20 appearances made by him – looks set to be his last for the club.
Head coach Garry Monk deemed Diagouraga surplus to requirements in August, telling him and two other senior players, midfielder Luke Murphy and goalkeeper Ross Turnbull, that they were free to find new employers.
All three were sent to work with United’s development squad and the club’s excellent Championship form under Monk offered them no chance of a reprieve in the first half of the term.
Murphy left Leeds to sign for Burton Albion on loan a fortnight ago and a switch to Ipswich will see Diagouraga remain in the Championship. The Frenchman turned down an approach from Rotherham United to move to Portman Road.
His deal at Ipswich does not include an option allowing Suffolk club to sign him permanently and Diagouraga is expected to re-assess his position in the summer but he described himself as “delighted” after finalising his loan, saying he “can’t wait to start” after months of inactivity.
Leeds recruited Diagouraga 12 months ago while Steve Evans was head coach at Elland Road, encouraged to sign him by his performances for Brentford during their run to the Championship play-offs in 2015.
McCarthy, who is under pressure after a spate of poor results, admitted he was also mindful of Diagouraga’s form in that campaign, saying: “He was the one who Brentford got into that really good team that got in the play-offs. I’m delighted to get him.”