Leeds have ‘no intention of cashing in’ on defender Diego Llorente this summer but are set to face ‘huge’ offers from within the Premier League.
That’s according to a report from Football Insider.
Leeds paid £18million to sign Llorente from Real Sociedad last September.
Groin trouble, swiftly followed by a hamstring injury, kept Llorente largely out of action until late February (via Transfermarkt).
But since he returned to the starting XI for the 3-0 win over Southampton, he’s started every match.
His performances have left club staff hugely impressed, with Marcelo Bielsa reportedly regarding him as a ‘phenomenal’ talent, and his decision to start him whenever fit shows how highly he rates the defender
The Spaniard has averaged 2.2 successful aerial duels, 2.3 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 2.5 clearances per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season (via WhoScored).
His passing statistics are also strong, with an overall accuracy of 83.3% and an average of 2.7 successful long balls per game.
A source has told Football Insider that Leeds are aware of ‘growing interest’ in the Spanish centre-half.
He is said to fit the profile of the elite sides that are on the hunt for a centre-half, and the anticipated bids will ‘far exceed’ Leeds’ 2020 outlay, but the Yorkshire outfit still plan to resist any offers.
Whilst a healthy profit is of course tempting – and you’d imagine Leeds will be offered somewhere around double their money – to truly reap the rewards of their recruitment they need to stand firm.
Keeping the likes of Llorente and Raphinha around for another full season could be key to a push for European football next year.
And then, with that additional revenue secured, they would be in a much stronger position to either keep hold of these players, demand bigger fees, or even perhaps pursue upgrades once more.
In other news, Paul Robinson discussed this potential ‘disaster’ at Elland Road.
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