Leeds United have been dealt a big transfer blow, with journalist Fabrizio Romano confirming that Whites target Rodrigo de Paul will join Atletico Madrid.
The Lowdown: Leeds constantly linked with De Paul
The Udinese star has been endlessly linked with a move to Elland Road this summer, following an excellent season with the Serie A side.
Even before this campaign, he was extremely close to moving to Yorkshire on deadline day last summer, only for the club to turn their attentions towards Raphinha.
He hasn’t been without other suitors, however, and it looks as though his next destination has now been decided.
The Latest: Romano provides huge update
On Wednesday, Romano took to Twitter to confirm that De Paul is off to Atletico Madrid, saying there is ‘absolutely no doubt’ about him joining the La Liga champions.
He added that the ‘deal is done’, meaning Leeds will miss out on what looked to be one of their most ambitious summer targets.
“Rodrigo de Paul will join Atletico Madrid, there’s absolutely no doubt also after Udinese board doubtful statement. The deal is done for €35m (£30m) since one weeks and set to be announced after the medicals.”
The Verdict: No great surprise
It is an undoubted blow for Marcelo Bielsa, but in truth, it was always going to be difficult to sign De Paul.
When a player is wanted by Champions League clubs who have just trumped La Liga’s giants to the league title, the chances of him moving to Leeds are slim, even though they continue to make great strides in recent seasons.
The aim now is to find someone similar to can bring creativity and work-rate in attacking midfield – De Paul registered nine goals and assists apiece and averaged 1.2 tackles per game in the league last season – proving effective on both sides of the ball.
Finding an alternate target like that will be tough, but Victor Orta has shown he can find a gem or two during his time in Yorkshire.
In other news, a former Leeds player has dropped an interesting verdict on one current Whites man. Read more here.
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