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Leeds Utd transfers: Spanish midfielder pushing for move as club director reveals star has ‘fallen in love’

Marc Roca has departed Leeds to join Real Betis on loan

Marc Roca has departed Leeds to join Real Betis on loan

Leeds United midfielder Marc Roca has already made clear he wants his loan stint at Real Betis becoming permanent next summer after it was revealed how he had pushed long and hard to make the move to Andalusia.

The 26-year-old moved to Elland Road in summer 2022 from Bayern Munich, costing the Whites a pretty sizeable £10.6m fee. Signing a four-year deal in West Yorkshire, Roca initially had a solid impact for Leeds, becoming a regular under then-boss Jesse Marsch.

But as Leeds’ form took a turn, so too did Roca’s, with the player struggling to maintain his high standards over the second half of the season. And while he made 36 appearances in all competitions, he was one of the first players to leave this summer once relegation from the Premier League was confirmed at Elland Road.

To that end, Leeds ended up waving farewell to 15 of the players who had taken them down, with clauses allowing a clutch of them to leave on loan. Roca fell into that category and quickly pushed his agent to help secure a return to his roots in LaLiga.

To the player’s relief, a season’s loan move to Betis was quickly signed on. And Roca has already made himself at home in his new surroundings, proving one of Betis’ star men so far this season with seven points collected from their four matches so far.

Indeed, having featured in all four matches so far, Roca has already pushed his case to make his move to Manuel Pellegrini’s side a permanent move next summer.

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Marc Roca eyeing permanent departure from Leeds Utd 

Discussing the player’s determination to force through the move in the first place, together with his wish to make his stay permanent, Betis’ sporting director Ramon Planes claims Roca has ‘fallen in love’ with Los Verdiblancos.

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

Roca could have followed the money to move to Saudi Arabia, but ultimately wanted to continue playing at the highest level.

Planes added: “In those countries, as we are talking about Arabia, you have to understand that they are brutal economic amounts, the difference is very big, but then you go there and you realise how much you have lost.

“And I think he [Roca] realised he wanted to return and that’s how he told us. And I told him ‘calm down, we’re going to do it’, but Marc is a boy who’s going to give us a lot.

“When the possibility with Manuel was seen, he immediately told us yes, that he knew him, the season is very long and he’s going to give us many things.”

Leeds could be powerless in bid to claim sizeable fee

Roca’s move to the Estadio Benito Villamarin, however, does not contain an option to make the move permanent. As such, he is scheduled to return to Elland Road when the deal expires on June 30, 2024.

And while there is yet to be any talk that Betis will look to trigger his permanent signing, his performances so far at the base of midfield suggest he would prove an astue addition if the money is right.

Much of Leeds’ stance may well depend on which division they are in next summer. A return to the Premier League will strengthen Leeds’ position to claim sizeable fees on both Roca and their other loanees, scattered around Europe.

However, were Leeds to find themselves still in the second tier, their hand would be weaker, offering the LaLiga the side the upper hand in potential negotiations.

Roca’s deal at Elland Road is currently due to expire in summer 2026.

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