Leeds transfer news: Truth emerges amid claims star wants to leave and Euro giants are in contact

Raphinha, Rodrigo, Leeds United celeb

Barcelona are not back in contact with Leeds for forward Rodrigo Moreno amid claims he’s looking to leave Elland Road this month, claims a trusted source.

The 30-year-old became Leeds’ record signing in August last year when leaving Valencia for Elland Road. He arrived with plenty of hype but only managed seven league goals in his debut season, as a result of injuries and tactical teething problems.

Rodrigo’s fortunes, however, have not improved this season. During another stop-start campaign, the Spain international has just two goals from 17 appearances so far.

As such, speculation has arisen suggesting a move back to Spain could be on the cards. Indeed, those reports have increased in recent days amid speculation in the Spanish press that Rodrigo wants to leave before the January window shuts.

Furthermore, it’s stated that Barcelona – who were keen on signing Rodrigo over the summer – are back in the mix for his signature. Indeed, El Nacional reports that the 30-year-old is preparing to take a hefty wages cut to seal a move to the Nou Camp this month.

However, The Athletic’s Phil Hay has moved to play down claims a move to Barcelona is imminent.

Barcelona yet to revisit Rodrigo Moreno transfer

Hay states that Barcelona did make a loan approach for Rodrigo last summer. However, the offer was rebuffed by Leeds and the LaLiga side are yet to rekindle their interest.

Writing in his pre-match Q&A for The Athletic on Saturday, Hay shared the latest on Rodrigo’s future.

“Barca looked at him very late in the last window (loan bid) but Leeds said no,” he wrote.

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“It doesn’t seem to have resurfaced yet but they clearly have, or had, an interest in him.”

With that in mind, it seems unlikely the attacker will depart this month.

In the ongoing absence of Patrick Bamford, Leeds need all the options they can in attack. Daniel James started Saturday’s defeat against Newcastle up front and, despite working hard, struggled to make an impact on the game.

Bielsa reflects on Newcastle defeat

Following the disappointing defeat, Bielsa claims his side did enough to win with a lack of clinical finishing proing costly.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Bielsa revealed how he tried to get Raphinha – who starred throughout – into the game more.

“We always got to the final third with ease, we could pick the final pass, whether it be from out wide or through the centre, but in the closing of the game we were lacking clarity,” the manager said.

“We lost the capacity to go on the outside. I changed Raphinha and [Jack] Harrison’s sides. I saw all the play was going down the left and Raphinha is our most unbalancing player.

“Apart from there on, the opposite happened. From there on, the ball started going down the right where Raphinha was initially.

“That prevented us from getting behind on both sides. Until that moment, we had it down the right. With fewer balls available, we had it down the left because Harrison was making contributions.”

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