Leeds United’s Laurens De Bock had agreed to two verbal agreements to join Aris Thessaloniki prior to completing a loan move to Sunderland this summer, according to Inside Futbol.
The Belgian left-back was expected to join the Greek outfit on a season-long loan with the view to a permanent switch (per Kristof Terreur) and had already agreed to different terms on two separate occasions.
However, Aris were unable to make certain financial promises which meant talks broke down and saw De Bock head to the north-east and play for Sunderland in League One instead.
Although it was not a shock to see De Bock leave Leeds this summer, it was, somewhat, surprising to see him head to Sunderland instead of Aris.
An exit was always on the cards, as a report by Football Insider claimed Marcelo Bielsa had no plans for the Belgian left-back and wanted him to leave Elland Road permanently this summer, as he made just seven Championship appearances for the Whites (Transfermarkt).
Earlier in the summer, there appeared to be a sense of confidence from the player himself to suggest that he would be playing his football in Greece for the current campaign, as he told fansite All About ARIS: “All is well. We found them with ARIS and in the next few days I will be in Thessaloniki.”
SDNA had been reporting for some time before his confirmation that he would be joining them as well, and it did not appear as though there would be any breakdown in talks at that stage and a deal looked almost guaranteed to happen.
However, he is now at Sunderland, although the £900k-rated defender (Transfermarkt) has had to remain patient for his opportunity in Jack Ross’ side. Since joining the Wearsiders at the beginning of September, De Bock has gone on to make just one appearance across all competitions.
Despite not being able to complete a move to Aris, there will be a sense of delight that at least he is no longer on Bielsa and Leeds’ books this season. It was pretty clear that the Argentine manager had no place for De Bock in his side and deemed him surplus to requirements at Elland Road moving forward.
Indeed, it would seem the 26-year-old is looking at his time with Sunderland with some positivity as well, as he has already spoken about the possibility of joining the Black Cats permanently, something that will likely go down well in Yorkshire if it were to happen.
However, as witnessed with his failed move to Greece, perhaps, it would be best not to make any verbal agreements just yet.
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