‘Being completed’ - Leeds United ‘close’ to resolving £18m player’s future
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Diego Llorente is close to finalising a loan move from Leeds United to AS Roma, according to the latest reports.
The player spent the second half of last season with the Serie A club as Jose Mourinho’s side reached the Europa League final, which they lost on penalties to Sevilla.
Fabrizio Romano reports a season-long loan deal is close to completion after a step forward in discussions overnight. Llorente had only signed a new deal at Elland Road in December, keeping him contracted with the club until the end of the 2025-26 season.
He initially joined Leeds in 2020 as part of their preparations for their first season in the Premier League. The 29-year-old moved to Roma on loan in January, making 12 appearances in all competitions as Mourinho’s side.
Roma had an €18million option to buy Llorente at the end of the season and despite a desire to keep the player, the Italian outfit were unwilling to meet the original price tag.
Earlier this month, Corriere Dello Sport, via Roma Giallorossa, reported Roma wanted to sign the player on loan for another season with a €10million obligation to buy the player if certain conditions are met. These would include individual and team performance targets.
The centre-back was poised to be out of contract at the end of next season before signing his new deal. His extended contract does give Leeds more bargaining power, as there is no risk of losing the player on a free transfer next summer.
Llorente started two Europa League games for Roma, as well as making an appearance in the final. Five of his Serie A appearances came from the start, with the other four coming off the bench.
“He has great international experience but needed a bit of time to learn how to play with us,” Mourinho said of the player in April.
“Our playing style was a little strange for him when he arrived, but now he’s settled in perfectly. There are still many games remaining and I can’t always start the same players.”