Leeds Utd transfer news: Sky Sports man drops big defensive signing tease as Diego Llorente joins Roma

Leeds United's Diego Llorente in action during an English Premier League soccer match against Southampton at St. Mary's Stadium in Southampton

Leeds United might not be done on their January additions amid claims another defensive signing could arrive at Elland Road before Tuesday night’s transfer deadline.

The Whites have enjoyed a hugely-productive January with four new signings to date. And there is much excitement around Leeds after the captures of Max Wober, Georginio Rutter, Weston McKennie and, on deadline day, Diogo Monteiro.

However, there was a departure from Elland Road confirmed on Tuesday evening. That came when defender Diego Llorente finalised a loan to Roma with the Serie A side having an option to make the move permanent.

They will pay Leeds around £1m to take Llorente for the rest of the season. And the option to make the move permanent ranges from £8m to £15m depending on which source you read.

Llorente himself explained the reasons behind his move after touching down in the Italian capital on Tuesday morning.

And confirming his exit, Leeds made a statement on their official website.

“Leeds United defender Diego Llorente has today joined Italian side AS Roma on loan until the end of the 2022/23 season, with a view to a permanent deal.

“The 29-year-old has made a total of 59 appearances for the Whites since joining from Real Sociedad in the summer of 2020, scoring four goals.

“He helped Leeds finish ninth in his first campaign. Whilst last season helped the club retain Premier League status for a second season.

“This term he has been restricted to just 13 appearances in all competitions. He finds himself behind Liam Cooper, Robin Koch and new recruit Max Wober in the pecking order.

“We wish Diego all the best during his time at the Stadio Olimpico.”

Mysterious Leeds Utd transfer option on cards

Leeds have had a hectic January window so far, though the departure of Llorente does leave their options a little light. Indeed, while Koch is a right-sided centre-half, their other options there – Cooper, Wober and Pascal Struijk – are all left footers.

As such, they do lack a little balance, with Monteiro going straight into the Under-21s set-up first.

However, Sky Sports News reporter Tim Thornton suggested there might be time for a further addition at Leeds.

Speaking earlier and as Llorente was about to undergo his medical at Roma, Thornton said: “Diego Llorente, he’s currently in Rome he’s undergoing a medical and completing a move there. That will be a loan move with a view to a permanent.

“It means Leeds United are assessing their central defensive options and they are looking at potential targets today.”

Quite who Leeds will target remains to be seen. The club has done a pretty good job in keeping their transfer negotiations under-wraps, meaning any recruit now will likely come as a surprise were it to happen.

Wober and Koch have so far formed a great understanding but the latter will serve a suspension in Sunday’s clash at Nottingham Forest.

As it stands – and subject to fitness – that could see a recall for Cooper alongside Wober. As stated, though: two left footers does leave a slight inbalance.

Struijk is another option to come in from his left-back role this season, with his move inside potentially seeing Junior Firpo retaining his place after starting, and scoring, against Accrington.

READ MOREFabrizio Romano clarifies Leeds United stance on winger as they eye up ambitious European swoop