Leeds United are in advanced talks to sign Spain international Diego Llorente from La Liga side Real Sociedad, according to Sky Sports.
Leeds United are in advanced talks with Real Sociedad over defender Diego Llorente— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 22, 2020
Llorente came through into senior football at Real Madrid but was unable to get into the side, spending time out on loan at Rayo Vallecano and Malaga. He moved to Real Sociedad on a permanent basis in 2017 and has been a regular in the side ever since when available.
It makes sense that Leeds would be looking at a centre-back following Croatia youngster Josko Gvardiol’s apparent decision to move to RB Leipzig instead of joining the Whites, and although Llorente is older he is a centre-back who can also play as a holding midfielder so he fits the style of Marcelo Bielsa in theory.
LATEST: Leeds in advanced talks with Real Sociedad over defender Diego Llorente. Deal close. #LUFC #TransferShow #SSN— Bryan Swanson (@skysports_bryan) September 22, 2020
There were stories linking Llorente with Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool early in the summer, but those links always seemed a bit spurious. However, these links could suggest that Llorente and his agent were trying to manufacture some Premier League interest.
At 27-years-old this is not a “potential” signing, so unlike Gvardiol he would be expected to be at first-team level immediately. Leeds have needed a third centre-back desperately, either to give options to the back four or give the option of a more defensively solid 3-3-1-3, although Pascal Struijk did impress when called upon.
Great player Diego Llorente if Leeds do pick him up. Really good at Málaga a few seasons back on loan & usually been very dependable at the back at La Real since arriving there— IanC (@IWJ86) September 22, 2020
There is yet to be any news of a fee in this deal - transfermarkt isn’t perfect but it’s the best we have at the moment, and they have his value listed at £18m - but I am sure if this is accurate we will hear a rough fee soon. His release fee in his contract is around £44m, but if Leeds are interested they must be willing to let him go for a fee of around half of that.