Samuel Saiz is poised to travel to Spain and undergo a medical at Getafe with the club on the verge of agreeing a deal to loan the midfielder from Leeds United.
Saiz will miss United’s game at Bolton Wanderers tomorrow and go back to his homeland to begin putting the finishing touches to a shock move which should officially go through on January 1.
Leeds are ready to loan the midfielder to Getafe until the end of the season with a view to a permanent transfer next summer after being told by an unhappy Saiz that he wants to quit English football.
The former Real Madrid youth player was the focus of intense discussions at Elland Road on Thursday following a sudden request from him to exit Leeds after 18 months with the club.
Saiz has struggled to settle in England and both he and his partner, who is currently pregnant with their second child, are keen for the 27-year-old to resume his career in Spain.
Leeds value Saiz in the region of £6m and Getafe are expected to complete a full-time transfer at the end of the La Liga campaign.
United head coach Marcelo Bielsa is understood to have approved the departure after becoming aware of Saiz’s desire to leave. It is not clear if Bielsa, who has attacking midfielder Izzy Brown on the way back from ACL surgery, intends to look for a direct replacement in next month’s transfer window.
Saiz - a talented playmaker signed for £3m from Spanish second division side Huesca in 2017 - has shown flashes of brilliance during his time at Leeds but his reputation was hit by a six-month ban for spitting last season and having made a convincing start to this term, he lost his starting place under Bielsa in October.
Bielsa recalled him for last weekend’s win over Queens Park Rangers but admitted afterwards that he had concerns about Saiz’s form. “He needs to play more games and he needs to be more confident,” Bielsa said. “Playing well is an important step forward. Now he needs to find his capacity to make the difference.”
Saiz has played 58 times for Leeds and scored 10 goals, though his last league goal came 15 months ago under former head coach Thomas Christiansen.
Leeds tied Saiz to a four-year contract when he signed from Huesca and were planning to open talks about a new deal after the turn of the year but the club have bowed to his request to return to Spain.
He was omitted from the squad which was due to travel with Bielsa to Bolton this afternoon, for a match which could take Leeds back to the top of the Championship, and Saiz appears to have played his last game for the club.
Getafe manager Jose Bordalas confirmed their interest earlier today. “With Samu Sáiz there are possibilities but nothing concrete,” Bordalas said. “He’s a player who has matured a lot in recent years.”