Victor Orta on 'world class' Rodrigo, Marcelo Bielsa's thoughts and how close Leeds United are to record breaking transfer
Just paperwork remains between Leeds United and a deal for Valencia's 'world class' attacker Rodrigo that will break the Whites' transfer record and make Marcelo Bielsa 'very happy' - according to director of football Victor Orta.
Speaking in Spain where the attacker has just completed a medical, Orta called it the most expensive signing in Leeds' history and credited the club's owner and chief executive for helping to make it happen.
The fee is believed to be in the region of £30m, plus significant add ons, for a 29-year-old with 22 caps for Spain.
The two clubs reached an agreement in principle last night and Orta addressed the media after Rodrigo's medical this morning. A deal could be completed today.
"It's true that this is the most expensive signing of Leeds's history," he said.
"I would like to thank my president Andrea Radrizzani, and our director Angus Kinnear that believed in all of this. I would like to thank the player and the player's father that believed the project since the start and that allowed us to present what we are.
"Here (Valencia) we have a memory of a wonderful Champions League semi-final and we have this ambition of building this team step by step but with this ambition of putting Leeds in a new place.
"And I would like to thank Valencia for their conduct. I hope that everything goes well from now and that we finish all the paperwork, but for us is a strategic signing that show what we want to be: a humble club that just got promotion, but that want to be a stable Premier League club, that is very important for us."
Orta says the negotiations have gone smoothly and all parties are content to move forward with the deal.
"It was a fair negotiation, absolutely fair negotiation in all of senses," he said.
"I've been in football for 16 years and this is one of the first times that I see the three parts very happy and this makes me very proud. We are all very happy and obviously we receive a world class player and we are very excited."
The excitement extends to head coach Bielsa, who Orta says took no time at all to get on board with the transfer.
"He is very happy. He is very happy. He wanted this leap of quality and when I put this name in the table he took one minute or 30 seconds to ask if that was posible and here we are. We could make it and we hope we finalise it all as that is the most important."
Leeds are also close to the signing of Arsenal's 18-year-old attacking prospect Sam Greenwood and will turn their attention to SC Freiburg defender Robin Koch now that they have strengthened their first team forward options.