Sevilla have confirmed the appointment of Victor Orta as their new sporting director – and the former Leeds chief is ready to raid Elland Road in his first piece of official business.
The 44-year-old left Leeds United last month, the Spaniard ultimately falling on his sword after a string of bad decisions. Indeed, he was he who chose to appoint Jesse Marsch, then appoint Javi Gracia and continued to stick by them both as results deteriorated.
If that wasn’t enough, the failure of costly buys Brenden Aaronson (£26.5m from RB Salzburg) and Georginio Rutter (£35m from Hoffenheim) meant he left Elland Road with a tarnished legacy. And the failed transfer of Jean-Kevin Augustin, which ultimately cost Leeds a collective £42.9m in transfer fees and lost wages, proved his ultimate downfall.
However, there were some successes of his reign, most notably in the signings of Raphinha and the appointment of Marcelo Bielsa.
Now, Orta has confirmed a rapid return to the game by succeeding Monchi at his first club Sevilla. He returns to the club where he once worked as technical secretary from 2006 to 2013.
And having learned his craft under Monchi, he is now back in Andalusia to replace his former mentor, who at the weekend sealed his own move to Aston Villa.
Leeds themselves are yet to appoint a permanent successor to Orta, though have drafted in Nick Hammond in an interim role. And the former Reading and Newcastle man will oversee the club’s summer transfer business for now as the club re-adjusts to life back in the second tier.
Orta targets Leeds star Rodrigo as first Sevilla signing
Now, according to reports in Spain, Orta is ready to raid former club Leeds in his first piece of business for Sevilla.
And he has his eyes on Spain forward Rodrigo, whom Orta brought himself to Leeds in a then club-record £27m deal from Valencia.
According to Spanish radio station El Partidazo de COPE, Orta is lining up the 32-year-old as his first signing.
They claim the attacker, who has one year left on his deal at Leeds, is ‘very close’ to making the move to Sevilla.
Furthermore, they claim the move will actually go through on a free transfer, with Leeds not receiving a penny for the move.
That claim does seem debatable, however.
Since Leeds’ relegation though, a series of reports have suggested the striker is available to leave for just £3m thanks to a clause in his contract. That report was carried by the Yorkshire Evening Post earlier this month.
In addition they claim Orta simply needs to finalise a €3.5m a year package – around £60,000 a week – for the striker to seal the move.
Rodrigo was one of the few bright sparks for Leeds as their three-year spell in the Premier League ended last month. Indeed, the forward netted 13 times in the Premier League to finish as their top scorer.
Striker to leave Leeds with decent record
He was recently questioned about a possible return to LaLiga while on international duty recently.
However, he was quick to bat away the speculation, when speaking to Radio Marca.
“I live in the real world, I have Instagram and friends who read the newspapers,” he said. “I can’t tell you much beyond what we all know because I don’t know.
“I’m very focused on the National Team right now and on the following matches.
“Then, I don’t know what’s going to happen honestly, but I have a contract with Leeds and that has to be respected.”
However, it now seems as if a return to LaLiga is on the cards with the reigning Europa League winners.
Rodrigo will depart Leeds having scored 28 goals in 97 appearances; a record of a goal every 3.4 appearances.