Doubt cast on Leeds United duo's future as major shift forces relegated men to prove themselves again

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On-loan Leeds United pair Rasmus Kristensen and Diego Llorente will need to prove themselves to a new coach at AS Roma after decorated boss Jose Mourinho was sacked.

The Portuguese manager left Stadio Olimpico following the side's 3-1 defeat by AC Milan with the capital club sitting ninth in the Serie A table. Llorente and Kristensen are both on season-long loans at the Italian club, and have featured prominently under Mourinho, but face fresh uncertainty over their futures due to the managerial change.

Reports in Italy claim former Roma midfielder and 2006 FIFA World Cup winner Daniele De Rossi will take over as the team's new manager in the wake of Mourinho's exit as Roma look to salvage their season. I Giallorossi are only five points off the UEFA Champions League places and still in with a reasonable chance of securing European football next season.

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However, recent results have seen the club knocked out of the Coppa Italia by city rivals Lazio, as well as suffer defeats by Milan and Juventus. Roma also face Feyenoord in the Europa League Round of 16 - a repeat of the inaugural UEFA Conference League final of two seasons ago in which Leeds man Luis Sinisterra appeared for the Dutch side.

Llorente's loan deal reportedly includes an option-to-buy clause, meaning Roma can make the Spaniard's stay in the Italian capital permanent come the end of the season. Although, Kristensen's is understood not to include such a provision.

Nevertheless, their immediate club futures are likely to be determined by how they perform during the second half of the season under De Rossi, who is expected to be appointed in due course. Should the 40-year-old, renowned for his days as a tough-tackling midfielder, decide the Leeds pair's time at the Olimpico should come to an end at the conclusion of 2023/24, they will return to Elland Road.

Llorente's contract runs until 2026 while Kristensen's deal expires the following summer. Thirty-year-old Llorente has made 24 appearances for Roma this season, while Danish international Kristensen appeared 21 times under Mourinho.

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