Leeds United full-back Junior Firpo seems to have had his head turned by former club Real Betis, who are interested in getting him to follow Marc Roca back to La Liga.
Real Betis took Roca on loan from Leeds in the summer following their relegation from the Premier League. It is a move that the midfielder has been happy with, and now the Seville outfit are weighing up another raid on the Whites.
As reported by Foot Mercato, Real Betis are interested in taking Firpo away from Leeds and back to Andalusia. Currently, Manuel Pellegrini’s side are bracing themselves for the loss of Juan Miranda in 2024, most likely to AC Milan and either in a January transfer or on a free in the summer.
Europa League participants Real Betis have identified Firpo as a potential replacement, recalling his previous spell with the club between 2014 and 2019, which included a couple of seasons in their first team after developing in their youth ranks and with the reserves.
And according to Santi Aouna’s report, Firpo ‘wants to leave’ Leeds in the January transfer window, which has opened the door for Real Betis to deprive Daniel Farke’s side again.
It is claimed that Los Verdiblancos are eager to take Firpo on loan, though it is not clear if it would contain an option or obligation to buy.
If such a deal is accepted by Leeds, Firpo would get the chance to add to his 43 appearances and five goals for Real Betis, after already being linked with a return in the past.
For Leeds, he has played 53 times and scored twice, but he only earned his first two appearances of the current season earlier this month after recovering from an injury.
In between his spells with Real Betis and Leeds, Firpo spent two seasons with Barcelona, playing 41 times and getting two goals.
He is only under contract at Elland Road until the end of next season, so could embark on a new challenge in the not-too-distant future.
Leeds could make two loan signings
While Leeds lost several players on loan in the summer and could bid farewell to Firpo via the same terms, they could explore similar signings of their own.
A report from Football Insider has highlighted how Leeds have space in their squad for two more loan signings after bringing in Joe Rodon, Djed Spence and Jaidon Anthony on temporary deals in the past transfer window.
To boost their chances of earning an immediate return to the Premier League, Leeds now intend to make use of these slots.
It is claimed they will target Premier League players who are not getting much playing time at present, although no specific targets are named or even what positions might be reinforced.
Leeds currently occupy one of the play-off places in the Championship table over a third of the way into the season.