Leeds are reportedly close to signing defender Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad – and are confident of tying up the signing before the weekend.
United have turned to the 27-year-old Spain international after seeing efforts for Josko Gvardiol fail. United appear to have missed out on on the talented Croatian, with a move to RB Leipzig now likely.
However, Leeds director of football Victor Orta has wasted little time in bringing in an alternative. According to Sky Sports News reporter Bryan Swanson, a deal for Sociedad’s Llorente is expected to soon be wrapped up.
The 27-year-old joined La Real in 2017 in a €6m transfer from Real Madrid and has proved himself one of LaLiga’s finest defenders.
Llorente has a €50m release clause in his deal, though he is likely to leave for a fee significantly below that total.
He is known for his ability to read the game and, key for Leeds, his ability to pass the ball with either foot.
Last summer, West Ham and Tottenham were both reported to be interested in Llorente. Liverpool and Leicester have also been credited with an interest in the defender too.
However, it seems Leeds have won the race to sign him, having beaten off interest from Monaco for his signature.
Llorente will be the second high-profile star to arrive at Elland Road this summer. That follows their club-record £26.7m swoop on Valencia for striker Rodrigo Moreno.
Unconfirmed reports claim Leeds have struck a deal worth €20m (£18.2m) for Llonte. The centre-half has two years left on his Sociedad deal.
Leeds up offer for Erick Pulgar
Leeds, meanwhile, are reported to have raised their bid to €15m to sign Erick Pulgar.
The player was first mentioned as a target for Marcelo Bielsa’s side over the weekend.
Chilean star Pulgar has been mentioned as an alternative to top target Rodrigo De Paul. However, the Chilean tends to operate more in a deeper midfield role. De Paul’s strengths are, entirely, in the final third. That said, Pulgar did play more advanced for Fiorentina last season and notched seven goals in 38 Serie A matches.
Either way, sections of the Italian press are adamant Leeds are keen. Reports over the weekend claim they have seen an opening bid of €10m rejected by La Viola.