Leeds United are soon expected to announce the arrival of Junior Firpo – and two factors have helped them secure his signing ahead of three other suitors.
The 24-year-old has agreed to move to West Yorkshire after Leeds agreed a deal with Barcelona. Barca’s financial struggles have been well documented and, as a peripheral member of the squad, Firpo has been deemed surplus to requirements. Having moved to the Nou Camp from Real Betis in the summer of 2019, the left-back has struggled for game time.
During his first season, he made 11 starts among 17 league appearances. But, far from pushing on in 2020-21, he was seen just seven times and started only three games.
However, Leeds have moved fast and have quickly agreed a fee with the LaLiga giants.
Firpo is now reported to be in the UK undergoing a medical at Leeds. His signing is expected to be finalised in the coming days.
Leeds have beaten Southampton, West Ham and AC Milan to his signing – and now Mundo Deportivo have detailed how the Yorkshire side won the race.
With Milan only making contact over a loan deal, they claim Firpo opted for Leeds due to their willingness to sign him permanently. It’s reported the player wanted the move to Leeds as soon as he heard of their interest. And with the security of a long-term deal, Firpo has already begun house-hunting in the more leafy suburbs of the city.
Indeed, it seems Leeds’ was the only firm offer on the table. Despite initial interest from Southampton and West Ham, Leeds were the only side to show their hand.
Furthermore, it’s claimed the chance to play for Marcelo Bielsa was also a deciding factor. With Milan also an option – albeit only on a season’s loan – Firpo chose Leeds and the chance to play under the legendary coach.
Mundo Deportivo also provides more details on the fee that is taking Firpo to Elland Road. They state that has been fixed at €15m (£12.88m). Around £1.8m of that (15%) will be heading to Real Betis, who included a sell-on clause in his transfer to Barca in 2019.
Firpo is expected to sign an initial four-year deal at Leeds, seeing him through to summer 2025.
The player is on a reported £85,000 a week at the Nou Camp. However, he’s reportedly taken a hefty drop in wages to move to Leeds. The security of a four-year deal proving key.
More to come for Leeds after Junior Firpo
The arrival of Firpo is expected to kick-of a busy period of transfers for Leeds.
With the Dominican ending their left-back search, the club will now focus on the capture of a midfielder and winger.
Indeed, Mundo Deportivo claims Firpo’s signing will be far from the last big piece of business that Victor Orta oversees this summer.
They claim Leeds “want more”. As such, Firpo will be the “first of a few” signings to guarantee them a “leap in quality”.
The West Yorkshire side were only three points away from European qualification last season. Therefore, a couple of smart signings could help them push further in that direction.
But the addition of Firpo would be a statement of intent from Orta and his colleagues.