Leeds United defender ‘in love’ with loan club as £18m price tag revealed, Arsenal starlet ‘almost’ joined Whites

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Leeds United’s Diego Llorente has fallen ‘in love’ with Roma and is eager to stay beyond this season, according to Calciomercato. The defender joined the Italian outfit on loan in the January transfer window.

After making only seven starts in the Premier League, Llorente moved to Roma as he looked for regular football but has actually struggled for minutes in recent months. However, the centre-back made his full debut against Sampdoria at the weekend as was said to have impressed Jose Mourinho.

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The report claims that Llorente is loving life at the Stadio Olimpico and is pushing for a permanent move, however it has emerged that there is a £18 million option-to-buy clause in his contract that Roma don’t want to pay.

Despite making only three appearances in Serie A, Roma are still keen to keep Llorente at the club and will now continue to monitor his progress before potentially seeking a ‘discount’ from Leeds United at the end of the season. The Whites could well agree to a lower fee for the Spaniard as they look to bring in some funds for what could be another busy summer - especially if they fail to stay up.

Gunner ‘almost’ joined Whites

Arsenal’s out-on-loan defender Auston Trusty has revealed that he almost joined Leeds United prior to his move to North London. The 24-year-old signed for the Gunners last year.

Trusty spent most of his career in the US with Philadelphia Union and Colorado Rapids before he began to attract attention from Premier League clubs. Arsenal snapped him up in January 2022 but he remained in Florida for the rest of the season before joining Birmingham City on loan this term.

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Speaking on Troy Deeney’s podcast, Trusty said: “I had a few teams [interested], I was actually going to Leeds. Then Arsenal came in and I basically said, ‘make this happen.’ I let my agent do all that kind of stuff and I just focus on football.”

The American has been a regular for the Blues, netting four goals in 38 appearances in the Championship. It is unclear whether Trusty will ever make an impact on Arsenal’s senior team but things could have been very different if he had made the switch to Elland Road.

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