Leeds United striker seals reported £3m transfer as Middle East exodus continues

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Leeds United striker Rodrigo has joined Qatar Stars League side Al-Rayyan Sports Club in a permanent transfer worth a reported £3 million.

The Whites’ top goalscorer last season departs Elland Road on the back of a recall to Spain’s national team and his best of three seasons in front of goal in West Yorkshire.

Brazil-born Rodrigo joins up with Portuguese coach Leonardo Jardim, former Ligue 1 champion with AS Monaco, in the Gulf state.

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He leaves Leeds having scored 28 goals across all competitions in 97 appearances since joining from Valencia in 2020.

Al-Rayyan teased the Spaniard’s announcement on social media on Thursday evening, sharing an image purporting to be the 32-year-old’s rucksack, complete with the scarf of his new club, Leeds and Valencia pin badges and the UEFA Nations League trophy, which he won last month with Spain.

Rodrigo’s move is understood to be a lucrative one at this stage in his career and the reported £3m fee believed to be a release clause following Leeds’ relegation.

The Spaniard becomes the latest European-based player to depart for the Middle East this summer.

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A club statement read: “We thank Rodrigo for his efforts and wish him all the best for the future.”

Leeds confirmed the addition of two Scottish youth international attackers on Thursday, as Josh McDonald and Lewis Pirie joined from Hamilton Academical and Aberdeen, respectively.

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