Leeds United

Leeds United

Championship

Leeds take strong-arm approach to €10m Bundesliga transfer with second deal ‘almost 100% ruled out’

Daniel Farke has some transfer decisions to make at Leeds United this summer

Daniel Farke has some transfer decisions to make at Leeds United this summer

Leeds United will approach the summer transfer window from a relative position of strength if they get promoted to the Premier League – as two loan players’ futures hang in the balance.

In a tumultuous 2022/23 season, where four different managers had stints in the Leeds dugout (Jesse Marsch, interim boss Michael Skubala, Javi Gracia, and Sam Allardyce), the Yorkshire outfit finished 19th in the table – ending their three-year stay in the English top-flight.

While the Whites were left fending for themselves in the Championship, a whole host of players either jumped ship permanently, including Tyler Adams and Rodrigo, or joined other teams on loan, such as Jack Harrison, Brendan Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen, Max Wober, and Marc Roca – all of whom failed to help them stave off relegation last term.

The latter two headed out for the 2023/24 campaign to La Liga outfit Real Betis and Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach respectively, while Leeds sought an immediate return to the Premier League.

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Midfielder Roca has made 35 appearances for the Spanish team, scoring four goals and bagging three assists along the way; while defender Wober has contributed two goals and turned provider on three occasions during his 26 matches for the Bundesliga club.

On the face of it, their statistics seem impressive enough, but Monchengladbach have conceded 56 goals in the German top-flight – the fourth worst in the league – and Roca has struggled for game time since late January.

A viral infection in early 2024 and a recent ankle injury has limited the 27-year-old’s minutes in recent weeks and it is likely he will find it hard to break into Manuel Pellegrini’s squad in the last leg of the season.

Uncertain future for Leeds loanees

Now, Spanish newspaper Estadio Deportivo states there is ‘next to no chance’ and is ‘almost 100% ruled out’ that Betis will use their €12m (£10.25m) purchase option for Roca this summer, which is very similar to the fee Leeds paid Bayern Munich to sign him in June 2022.

The report adds that Betis, who sit eighth in La Liga and have an outside chance of qualifying for Europe next season, are very unlikely to fork out that sort of sum for the midfielder, whose current deal ends in 2026, and they may be hoping Leeds do not get promoted this summer as that will give the Peacocks more bargaining power.

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With Wober, whose contract at Elland Road expires in 2027, it appears the Austria international is somewhat in limbo, too, as he told German publication Bild that he was none the wiser over his future.

The 26-year-old, who described himself as a “fighter” and a “warrior” after leaving Leeds for the German outfit, said:  “I haven’t heard from Gladbach in a while, they will also be squad planning for next season.

“I’m curious whether anyone from Gladbach will come to me – or from Leeds too. Nobody has talked to me yet.

“Leeds are in the middle of a promotion fight, they have better things to do at the moment than talking to their loan players about their future.”

Leeds, Farke face £21m transfer dilemma

The club’s sporting director Roland Virkus confirmed discussions with Wober, who cost Leeds £11m to sign from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2023, over his future have since occurred but there is no agreement with the Championship team at present.

Again, Daniel Farke’s side will have a stronger hand if they reach the Premier League this summer, as they try to formulate a plan for this £21m dilemma.

Virkus added: “We were in talks with Max, but there hasn’t been an exchange recently – because Leeds aren’t moving. The problem is that if we don’t reach an agreement with Leeds then it will be difficult to move on. At the moment it’s just that the numbers are quite high.”