Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

£16m Leeds problem predicted with La Liga club set to back out of transfer

James Holland
Helder Costa Valencia

Leeds United could face a major problem in their bid to offload unwanted winger Helder Costa, according to reports.

The 27-year-old moved to Elland Road in July last year for a £16million fee, following an initial loan. He was expected to make a big impact for the Whites in the Premier League, but that did not happen.

The form of team-mate Raphinha saw Costa spend plenty of time on the bench. Indeed, he completed just five league matches for Leeds during 2020-21.

Manager Marcelo Bielsa had no real need to keep the Angola international around heading into the current campaign. As such, Leeds put Costa on the market.

La Liga outfit Valencia soon snapped him up on loan. They paid an initial €2m and have the option to make his transfer permanent for €10m come the summer.

Costa’s comments on November 5 made it look as though he would stay in Spain past this season. He said Valencia was an ‘ideal place’ for him to get back to his best. He also revealed that his situation at Leeds was ‘not so good’.

But LeedsAllOver, citing reports in the Spanish press, provide an important new update. They write that Valencia are in ‘significant’ financial trouble. They need to raise €36m through player sales to right off such debts.

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First-team stars such as Carlos Soler, Jose Gaya and Goncalo Guedes may have to be sold. That could prove to be good news for Liverpool and Arsenal as they are keeping tabs on 24-year-old Guedes.

The news means Valencia will not be making Costa’s temporary spell at the Mestalla Stadium permanent, much to the disappointment of Leeds.

The Whites will now have to find another suitor for the attacker, once he returns to West Yorkshire in June.

Costa has made 71 appearances for Leeds in all competitions, scoring eight times.

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Bielsa urged to maintain ‘excellent’ pairing

Meanwhile, pundit Noel Whelan thinks Bielsa should keep playing Adam Forshaw alongside Kalvin Phillips in central midfield.

The 30-year-old is back in the frame this term after a long injury lay-off dating back to 2019. He played in the 1-1 draw with Leicester and looked solid in the centre of the park.

“Forshaw definitely deserves to keep his place in the side, I thought he was excellent against Leicester,” Whelan said.

“We are going to need him at Tottenham. Leeds United have got to control that midfield area and be competitive in there. Adam and Kalvin gave us that in their last game together.

“I think it’s the perfect partnership to head away to Spurs and try and dominate that area.”

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