Leeds United growing in confidence over Junior Firpo deal with Barcelona as reports emerge in Spain
Leeds United are growing in confidence that they can land Barcelona left-back Junior Firpo as the first piece of their summer strengthening.
The YEP reported on Sunday that the 24-year-old was a player who featured on Victor Orta's shortlist and while a deal is not yet concluded, reports have emerged in Spain suggesting the Whites are closing in.
Firpo, who joined Barcelona from Real Betis in 2019 for €18m with potential add-ons worth around €12m, would likely be a loan deal with a view to a permanent move, in the same way Leeds acquired winger Jack Harrison from Manchester City. The deal could end up costing the Whites somewhere in the region of €15m.
Orta is highly keen on the defender and Marcelo Bielsa is said to like his attacking profile. The increasing noise around the deal, at the Barcelona end, is a positive sign that the Whites are moving closer to their man. It is now clear that while Leeds were interested in players like Romain Perraud and Javi Galan, Firpo was the left-back Orta had been discussing and targeting under the radar.
If Leeds can fend off any last-ditch attempts to hijack the deal from clubs who have also expressed strong interest and the player decides Elland Road is the right move for him, there's a chance it could be done this week.
AC Milan were one of the clubs looking to sign the former Spain Under 21 and at one stage looked favourites for his signature. Napoli are also understood to have held interest in Firpo.
Mark Jackson's Under 23s are also expected to welcome their first summer signing in the next day or two.