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Leeds United star ‘holds transfer talks’ with former club as major decision is made on January exit

Junior Firpo of Leeds United has been linked with Real Betis

Junior Firpo of Leeds United has been linked with Real Betis

Leeds full-back Junior Firpo has reached a decision on his future after reports in Spain claimed the left-back has held regular talks with his former club Real Betis.

The Dominican Republic-born star is into his third year of a four-year contract at Elland Road, after arriving in a £12.9m switch from Barcelona in summer 2021. However, little has gone to plan for Firpo since the move to Leeds, who suffered relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

Indeed, during his time in West Yorkshire, the 27-year-old has struggled with a string of niggling injuries, missing a total of 49 appearances since the move. The very stop-start nature of his time at the club has halted his chances of building any sort of momentum, while the fact that Leeds have employed a total of six different bosses throughout his time there has also not helped matters.

Regardless of that, Firpo has been dogged by inconsistencies and there were times, particularly during his first season at the club, that Firpo struggled badly with his form.

Nonetheless, when a number of his teammates exercised clauses in their deals to seal moves away from Leeds in the event of relegation, it was widely expected that Firpo would follow.

However, Firpo remained at Elland Road over the summer, while another injury – this time, ligament danage in his knee – put paid to any hopes of leaving.

Since then, the Whites have signed Sam Byram, who has made the left-back slot his own with a string of eye-catching displays.

And with Firpo limited to just three appearances so far this season, just one of which has been a start, speculation of a January move away has raised its head again.

READ MOREJunior Firpo ‘wants to leave’ Leeds United as loan exit develops

Junior Firpo makes decision on Leeds exit

To that end, it’s been reported that Firpo has held a series of talks with his former club Real Betis, whom he made 43 appearances for over two seasons before sealing a move to Barcelona.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are going well this season and are currently sat seventh in LaLiga, suffering just two losses from their 16 matches played so far.

They also look well placed to reach the Europa League knockout stages, currently topping Group D with their destination to be finalised on Thursday in their final game against Rangers. Avoid defeat to the Scottish giants and they will be through to the next phase.

With the January window due to open in just 20 days time, Pellegrini is keen to add a new left-back to his mix, with speculation over a return to the Benito Villamarin Stadium gathering pace for Firpo.

However, despite Estadio Deportivo confirming Firpo has ‘regularly’ held talks with Betis, they say a move for the player is currently not on the table.

Furthermore, they state that Firpo has not asked to leave Leeds with the player keen to stay loyal to the Whites and help them achieve their goal of returning to the Premier League.

Leeds are currently third in the Championship table, having won 10 of their last 13 games, and travel to take on play-off hopefuls Sunderland on Tuesday evening.

Firpo, however, will not be part of the matchday squad as he battles to fully recover from his fitness issues.

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