Leeds United supporters will likely be ecstatic after finding out that a sub-par player will be departing Elland Road following a big update from transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano.
Leeds’ three-year stay in the Premier League came to an end on the final day of the season as they were beaten 4-1 at home by Tottenham. The Whites needed to win to stand any chance of staying up but conceded early on when Spurs striker Harry Kane swept home after being set up by Son Heung-min. Jack Harrison did get on the scoresheet for Leeds, but Spurs were ultimately a class above and sent Sam Allardyce’s men down with a whimper.
Leeds are enduring a turbulent period. Not only are they back in the Championship, they are also at the centre of a potential takeover. Majority owner Andrea Radrizzani wants out, as shown by his recent offer to use Elland Road as collateral to secure a bank loan and try to purchase Italian club Sampdoria.
While minority owners 49ers Enterprises have not yet completed a full takeover, they are hoping to finalise such a deal by the end of the week.
The potential new majority owners must work quickly to prepare the club for a Premier League promotion push by landing a new manager and re-shaping the squad.
And one player who could leave in the coming weeks is left-back Junior Firpo. Writing on Twitter, Romano has revealed Firpo ‘will leave Leeds this summer’ as he wants to try a new experience following the club’s relegation.
Several teams across Europe are interested in snapping him up and could soon enter negotiations with Leeds. The names of those clubs have not yet been revealed, though they should emerge in the coming days.
Having previously represented major Spanish teams such as Barcelona and Real Betis, it is understandable that the defender does not want to drop down to the Championship.
Leeds and Junior Firpo to part ways
However, Leeds fans will happily wave him off if an exit goes through. Firpo has been a highly controversial figure at the club since joining from Barca in July 2021.
The Leeds faithful were expecting big things given his Barca pedigree, but the 26-year-old has largely let them down with a series of bad mistakes and poor performances.
It could be argued his time in West Yorkshire was perfectly summed up in the 2-2 home draw with Newcastle United on May 13.
Firpo did well to win Leeds a penalty when they were already 1-0 up, only for Patrick Bamford to have it saved by Nick Pope.
Callum Wilson then did what Bamford couldn’t by making the score 1-1 from the penalty spot. But things went from bad to worse for Leeds when Firpo handled in the box, allowing Wilson to put Newcastle 2-1 ahead with another spot-kick.
A deflected Rasmus Kristensen strike saw Leeds drag themselves level, though that was not the end of the controversy surrounding Firpo. He was already on a yellow card when he brought Anthony Gordon down just outside the box in stoppage time, which resulted in the referee sending him off.
Given all of the full-back’s mistakes in a Leeds shirt, it is surprising that several clubs are interested in his services. But Leeds fans will certainly be happy to see him being tipped for the exit door by one of the world’s most reliable journalists.