Leeds United look to shatter transfer record for £30m Rodrigo

LEEDS UNITED are in advanced talks to sign Valencia forward Rodrigo for a club-record fee.

Spain's Rodrigo. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

United owner Andrea Radrizzani and sporting director Victor Orta have flown to Spain to try and convince the 29-year-old to take on a new challenge and have met Mestalla officials in a bid to broker a deal for a fee of around £30m.

Capped 22 times by Spain, Rodrigo is one of a number of Valencia stars to be told that they will be sold in the transfer window due to the perilous financial position that the club finds itself in due to the coronavirus crisis.

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Some reports last night suggested that Leeds had reached a final verbal agreement with Valencia ahead of official contracts being drawn up, with the player said to be keen to head to England and work under Marcelo Bielsa.

If all goes well, a medical could take place before the weekend.

Brazil-born Rodrigo, who moved to Spain at a young age and has two years left on his contract, would provide a marquee striking option for Leeds as they prepare for their first Premier League campaign in 16 years.

United’s transfer record currently stands at £18m, the fee which saw Rio Ferdinand head to Elland Road from West Ham back in November 2000.

Rodrigo, who has scored eight goals for Spain, had a short loan spell at Bolton in 2010-11.

Bringing in another centre-back is United’s other major priority ahead of the season’s opening, with the club having switched their attentions to Freiburg’s Robin Koch, subject of a big-money offer.

Leeds have previously seen several offers for first-choice defensive target Ben White rejected by Brighton.

Meanwhile, Leeds captain Liam Cooper and Sheffield United duo John Fleck and Oli McBurnie have been named in Scotland’s squad for their internationals against Israel and the Czech Republic next month.

Sheffield Wednesday full-back Liam Palmer has also been picked in the squad.

Leeds forward Tyler Roberts is in Wales’ 26-man squad for the UEFA Nations League games in Finland on September 3 and at home to Bulgaria in Cardiff three days later.

Blades manager Chris Wilder said he had no issue with the decision to call off the Blades’ friendly against Dundee United at half-time on Wednesday afternoon.

Billy Sharp gave the visitors the lead at Tannadice shortly before the break, with the game subsequently abandoned due to heavy rain and wind.

Wilder said: “I don’t have any problems with the decision.

“I have known Micky Mellon (Dundee United manager) for a long time. We have managed to get 45 minutes and even though we would have liked 60 or so, that is better than nothing and you can always take something from whatever situation.”

Doncaster Rovers have completed the signing of Brighton Under-23s attacking midfielder Taylor Richards, 19, on a season-long loan.

Former Hull City midfielder Jon Toral has competed a move to old club Birmingham City.

Meanwhile, the Tigers are being strongly linked with a move for Rochdale’s Ollie Rathbone.

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James Mitchinson