Leeds United complete club record signing of Rodrigo

LEEDS UNITED have completed the signing of Spanish international striker Rodrigo in a club record deal.

Record Leeds United signing Rodrigo. Picture courtesy of Leeds United.

The 29-year-old has put pen to paper and joined the club from La Liga outfit Valencia for a fee of around £27m with significant add-ons - with the outlay substantially eclipsing United's previous record of £18m shelved out to bring Rio Ferdinand to the club just under two decades ago in November 2000.

Rodrigo has signed a four-year deal until the summer of 2024.

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It represents a ground-breaking deal in the modern-day history of Leeds, who will now switch their attentions towards finalising a £13m move for big defensive target Robin Koch to potentially take their spending at senior first-team level to the £40m mark this summer.

Koch has said his goodbyes to his team-mates at Freiburg and is destined for a medical with Leeds this weekend and could also be unveiled shortly.

Rodrigo, who spent a brief loan spell in England at Bolton Wanderers in 2010-11, underwent a medical in Spain on Wednesday morning ahead of flying to Yorkshire – after a deal was agreed in principle on Tuesday night.

After further negotiations, the deal has now finally been signed off with Leeds confident they have landed a world-class talent.

The Rio-born player moved to Spain in his early teens and after playing for Real Madrid's C and B teams, the forward joined Portuguese giants Benfica where he scored 45 goals in 120 appearances in all competitions.

In his time in Portugal, he won the Primeira Liga, Taca de Portugal and Taca da Liga and helped Benfica reach the Uefa Europa League final in 2013 and 2014.

He joined Valencia on loan for the 2014-15 season and the move became permanent in June 2015.

The forward, who can also successfully operate in wide positions, spent six seasons in total at the Mestalla, scoring 59 goals in 220 competitive appearances.

Rodrigo has made a penchant of scoring important goals in key games at club and international level, scoring eight times in 22 games for Spain.

He scored the goal to book Spain's place in the Euro 2020 finals, coming off the bench to score a stoppage-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw in Sweden.

He also scored the winning goal for Valencia in their 2-1 Copa del Rey final victory over Barcelona in last year's final in Seville.

Rodrigo - in Spain's squad for the forthcoming internationals against Germany and Ukraine - has also scored high-profile goals already in England, netting for Valencia in a 1-0 Champions League win at Chelsea in September 2019 and scoring the decisive goal in Spain's 2-1 Nations League victory at Wembley in the autumn of 2018.