Leeds United

Leeds United


Damaging decision for Leeds Utd outcast blocks another defender’s transfer to further complicate battle for gametime

Roma defenders Rasmus Kristensen and Zeki Celik

Roma defenders Rasmus Kristensen and Zeki Celik

The fact that Rasmus Kristensen has failed to make it into Roma’s squad list for the Europa League group stage has prompted the Serie A side to reject a bid by Galatasaray for Zeki Celik, according to reports in Italy.

Kristensen is currently on loan at Roma from Leeds United, having followed Diego Llorente to the Italian capital over the summer. His move came just one year after he arrived in England to begin with.

Despite starting Roma’s first two matches of the Serie A season, Kristensen will not be able to play for his new club in the Europa League after being omitted from their squad list for that competition.

It is a consequence of a strict settlement between UEFA and Roma, which meant Jose Mourinho’s side could only include five of their seven summer signings in their Europa League squad.

Because Kristensen has missed the cut, it has now emerged – via La Gazzetta Dello Sport – that Roma are refusing to let one of his competitors for the right-back role leave.

Zeki Celik is the player in question, who has become the subject of interest from Galatasaray before the transfer window in his native Turkey shuts on Friday.

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Celik only joined Roma from Lille last summer and was their starting right-back in their third game of the season, for which Kristensen sat on the bench.

However, the former Istanbulspor defender has not fully convinced in Rome. Therefore, his future has come into question recently.

Indeed, Roma’s addition of Kristensen was originally designed in view of a potential departure for Celik or, more likely, Rick Karsdorp. Neither of them left by the end of the Italian window, though.

Kristensen omission contributes to Celik transfer collapse

Because of the UEFA squad list decision, Mourinho can now only use Celik or Karsdorp at right-back in the Europa League (unless he wanted to pick Nicola Zalewski, who also plays on the left, there).

Consequently, he has not given the green light to an exit for Celik, who therefore still stands in Kristensen’s way of gametime in Serie A for Roma.

It will be interesting to see who gets the nod for Roma’s first match back after the international break, against Empoli on Sunday.

Likewise, a topic of intrigue will be whether Galatasaray try to sign a different right-back before the Turkish deadline on Friday.

While Kristensen is out on loan, Leeds are relying on Djed Spence (who is on loan himself from Tottenham Hotspur) and Luke Ayling as their options on the right-hand side of Daniel Farke’s defence.