Leeds United

Leeds United

Championship

Leeds set for £10m transfer blow as loanee ‘closer than ever’ to next move

Marc Roca has been on loan at Real Betis

Marc Roca has been on loan at Real Betis

Leeds United flop Marc Roca looks set to end up at Real Betis but it remains to be seen if he will rejoin the Spanish side on loan or sign for them permanently.

When Leeds were relegated to the Championship last season, Roca was among a host of players who headed out on loan for the 2023/24 campaign or left the club permanently.

While there was a degree of excitement over his £10m move from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2022, the Spaniard was one of many recruits to underwhelm as they finished 19th in the Premier League.

Faced with the option of helping Leeds get out of the Championship or finding a move in one of the top five European leagues, the former Espanyol man leapt at the chance to join Betis on a season-long loan last July.

Since then, Roca has played 37 times for the La Liga outfit, scoring four goals and bagging three assists. On the face of it, that seems a very productive move for the 27-year-old but the first half of the campaign was more fruitful than the second.

DON’T MISSMan City push for ‘significant’ exit fee as Leeds transfer crashes and burns

Between August to December 2023, Roca started 16 out of 19 La Liga games and was in the starting XI for all six of their Europa League group stage matches.

In early 2024, however, Roca was struck down by a viral infection, before an ankle injury and struggles for form limited his game time in Manuel Pellegrini’s squad.

In the first few months of his loan, Betis were reportedly keen on signing Roca permanently but fast forward to the present and it is understood they are very unlikely to exercise the £10.25m purchase option to sign the Leeds man.

And going by Roca’s comments earlier this year, it seems he could return to Betis on loan next season after Leeds failed to secure an immediate return to the Premier League after losing to Southampton in the Champions League play-off final at Wembley on Sunday.

READ MORELeeds Utd transfers: Southampton tipped to rub salt in wounds with surprise winger swoop

He previously said: “There is a clause like this year. If Leeds is not in the Premier League, I can go on loan again. Let’s see. It depends on whether they go up or not.

“They are things out of my control. I sincerely want you to go up, because I wish all the teams I have been in and wish you the best. I am grateful to them, I wish them the best, it has been my home, and from there we will see.”

Now, ABC Sevilla states Betis will not exercise their Roca buying option and that extending his loan shouldn’t be an issue, and Estadio Deportivo claims the midfielder is ‘closer than ever’ to extending his stay with the Spanish outfit.

Marca adds that Betis could step up negotiations to try and sign him for a reduced fee but if not, they will have the ‘upper hand’ to get a good deal for him in 2025 when his contract ticks down.

With Leeds failing to return to the Premier League, a £10m financial boost would have been welcomed but for the time being that won’t be the case.