Leeds complete £27m signing of Spain striker Rodrigo

29 Aug 2020 08:06 am, by YorkshireSquare

Leeds United have completed the transfer of Spanish striker Rodrigo Moreno Machado on a four year deal worth €30 million plus add-ons in their first marquee signing of the summer. Rodrigo will become Leeds United's most expensive signing, breaking the record set by Rio Ferdinand who signed back in 2000 for £18 million.

Rumours of a move for Rodrigo emerged last week when Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio, who had been in Lisbon with Andrea Radrizzani for the Champions League finals, revealed that the Leeds Chairman had identified Rodrigo as a prime transfer target. When asked about a potential deal for Rodrigo earlier in the week The Athletic’s Phil Hay confirmed Leeds were interested but gaining the signature of the striker would be “a long shot”. Since then it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, Victor Orta and Angus Kinnear flew out to Spain on Tuesday and were able to meet both Valencia and Rodrigo’s expectations financially whilst Marcelo Bielsa was able to sell the club and vision to the striker.

The Leeds hierarchy seem a little surprised that all the pieces have fallen into place, but it is a massive statement on their return to the Premier League. Valencia are going through a period of transition with many big names leaving the club in order to ease their current financial issues. Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have both tried to sign the attacker within the last 12 months; Atletico were quoted a fee of £55 million for Rodrigo’s signature last summer while Real Madrid were told two years ago they would have to pay his £110 million buyout clause. All that makes it sounds as though £27 million would be a bargain for a player of his quality.

Rodrigo has spent six years at the Mestalla, scoring 59 goals in 220 appearances, making 41 assists. Last seasons tally saw him chalk up 7 goals and 11 assists in 34 appearances 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. Spanish football journalist Guillem Balagué describes him as a modern forward who can play up front or wide right, create and work large spaces, is quick, has a good work rate and presses hard. Clearly not a goal hanging number 9 but a highly rated player who sounds perfect for a Marcelo Bielsa side. He has also been Spain boss Luis Enrique's go to man in the Euro Qualifiers, scoring 4 goals. In total he has 8 goals in 22 appearances for Spain. Rodrigo could face a fellow Leeds player on Thursday if Germany defender Robin Koch puts pen to paper before Germany play Spain in the Nations League.

After a couple of weeks of frustration that Leeds have been unable to get deals done, including that for Ben White, the securing of the signature Rodrigo is a big statement of intent from Andrea Radrizzani. One Valancia fan on Twitter commented; “A sale that hurts the soul”, a good sign we are getting an excellent player. Leeds are not in the Premier League to make up the numbers, Marcelo Bielsa is going to give it a go next season.

Bienvenida a Leeds Rodrigo Moreno Machado!