Spanish sources confirm Leeds interest in £30 million rated Valencia striker Rodrigo
22 Aug 2020 11:49 pm, by YorkshireSquare
The transfer window has so far been filled with speculation around Ben White’s future, but rumours about a potential move for Valencia striker Rodrigo Moreno Machado gained traction over the weekend. Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio, who has been in Lisbon with Andrea Radrizzani for the Champions League finals over the last week, has revealed that the Leeds Chairman has identified Rodrigo as a prime transfer target and wants to get the deal done before the start of the season.
This could be one of the first big rumours to have some legs, Spanish sources have checked up on the story and confirmed that while talks are not advanced, it is a genuine link. Spanish national daily sport newspaper Marca report that Valencia would take £22 million for the 29-year-old Spanish attacker and that a move to Leeds United is of interest him. Valencia had valued the striker at £30 million but are strapped for cash currently and may be willing to take the lower amount. The Athletic's Phil Hay also confirmed Rodrigo is on Leeds United's radar but caveated that with the fact that it would be a long shot.
Rodrigo’s wages are apparently no issue as Radrizzani looks to strengthen the Leeds attack for the new Premier League season. Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have both tried to sign the attacker within the last 12 months but neither could agree a fee. Atletico were quoted a fee of £55 million for Rodrigo’s signature last summer, Real Madrid were told two years ago they would have to pay his £110 million buyout clause whilst Manchester City failed with a bid a few years ago also. All that makes it sounds as though £22 million would be a bargain for a player of his quality.
The striker has spent six years at the Mestalla Stadium, netted 7 times and made 11 assists in 34 in all competitions appearances last season including a few goals and assists in the Champions League. He even scored the winner against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea back in the group stages. Those stats gave him a goal contribution of a goal or assist every 131 minutes. As a comparison Pablo Hernandez made a goal contribution of every 139 minutes for Leeds last season.
Rodrigo has played as a winger and striker, often as a number 10 partnering Maxi Gomez. In that role he has managed 31 goals and 24 assists in La Liga. These are not eye-catching goal scoring numbers but still a 1 in 3 record and a goal contribution in one of Europe's top leagues of a goal or assist every 151minutes. Has shown he can turn up when it matters, scoring goals and creating goals in the quarter, semi and final of the Copa Del Rey last season. He has been Spain boss Luis Enrique's go to man in the Euro Qualifiers, scoring 4 goals. Clearly not a goal hanging number 9 but also clearly a talented and highly rated player.
The only issue hanging over him currently was a partially torn LCL in his right knee suffered back in July meaning he missed the last 5 games of the La Liga season. It’s an injury that would usually take 2-6 weeks to overcome so he should be ready to go for the new season but Leeds have been stung with unfit strikers in recent history and we know the demands Bielsa places on players. Fitness could be an issue and given we really need players who can make an impact as soon as possible, but then any player brought in would need to get up to speed with Bielsa’s philosophy before being in contention to play anyway.