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LaLiga transfer on cards for Leeds Utd as £10.6m star makes clear wish to secure move

Marc Roca, Sergio Canales and Borja Iglesia of Real Betis during the Pre-season friendly match Real Betis vs Middlesbrough at SMH Group Stadiumact Stadium, Chesterfield

Marc Roca, Sergio Canales and Borja Iglesia of Real Betis

Leeds United loanee Marc Roca has made clear his happiness at life with Real Betis with talks over a permanent move from Elland Road potentially set to get underway earlier than expected.

The 26-year-old midfielder moved to Elland Road in a £10.6m deal from Bayern Munich in summer 2022 as Leeds looked to re-invest in their squad following the departure of Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City in a £42m deal.

And while Roca made a bright start to life at Leeds United, he quickly found it difficult to impose himself in the Premier League as the team struggled to pick up results and bounced from one manager to another. Ultimately, Leeds tamely waved farewell to their Premier League status after three years in the top flight and with Roca among those in the firing line from angry supporters.

As a result, it came as no surprise when the former Espanyol man took advantage of a clause in his contract that allowed him to depart Leeds in the event of relegation. And on July 17, just a matter of 50 days after Leeds’ relegation was confirmed, Roca found himself back in Spain, signing for Real Betis on a season’s loan.

Since returning to his homeland, Roca has played in all nine of the club’s matches to date, scoring his first goal for the club in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Valencia at Benito Villamarin Stadium.

Indeed, Betis’ sporting director Ramon Planes has already made clear his wish to secure Roca to a permanent transfer in Andalusia.

Planes told Marca: “He was desperate, he called every day. He left [Leeds] because of a good contract situation.”

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Marc Roca wants to make Leeds exit permanent

Clearly Roca has settled in quickly into his new enviroment with the Spanish game much more suited to his style. Indeed, the all-rush pace of the Premier League often found him wanting in games and failing to influence matches in the same way that he can in LaLiga.

Now reports in Spain have claimed Roca has already made clear his wish to make the move permanent.

And while his deal does not contain an option to make the move permanent, there is every chance talks will be opened at making that the case. Betis initially planned to open those talks in the summer, but such has been Roca’s impact, they could look to tie up an arranagement as soon as January in order to prevent other suitors from potentially hijacking the deal.

Indeed, while speaking about life with Betis, Roca admits he is enjoying his football, though did not go into details about his chances of sealing a permanent move.

“[I’m] very happy. I’m having a good time, I’m enjoying it at Real Betis,” he said on Onda Cero.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are in the Europa League this season, having finished sixth last season, and currently have three wins and three draws from eight LaLiga matches to sit eighth in the table.

And when asked about Betis’ aspirations this season, Roca added: “We like to dream big, but we know that we have to stay with our feet on the ground. The season is very long and demanding.”

Betis next face Sparta Prague in Thursday’s Europa League group stage, while they return to LaLiga action on Sunday with a game against Alaves.

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