Good Morning. It's Wednesday 23rd September, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Fee agreed over Llorente deal
Leeds Representatives lead by Victor Orta worked throughout the night to thrash out a deal for Real Sociedad's Spanish International central defender Diego Llorente, with a proposing a medical this afternoon. The San Sabastian Club sent a tweet out last night confirming that an agreement in principle with Leeds had been secured. At 8am this morning an announcement was made that a fee had been agreed between both clubs for Llorente's services.
The 27 year old has five caps for the Spanish national side and was an unused substitute for both of this month's Nations League games. According to the YEP, the deal could cost Leeds as much as 20m, once negotiations are finished. Llorente signed for Sociedad from Real Madrid in June 2017, joining for around £7m on a five-year deal.
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has backed Diego Llorente to thrive in the Premier League with Leeds.
Diego Llorente is a very athletic centre-back who has played also as full-back and centre-midfielder. Quality with his feet, he struggled a bit as he played left of the two centre-backs this season and had a muscle problem in January. Clever and brave anticipating, but he perhaps needs to be stronger in 50-50s.
Good in set-pieces both defending and attacking (scores goals). He has good pace and will need it to defend the big spaces Leeds create behind defenders. "He perhaps risks too much and produces a mistake or two, but he's considered on his best form to be one of the top five or six Spanish centre-backs.
It will be interesting to see what Bielsa has in store for Llorente? He was originally only looking for defensive cover, leaving Koch and.Cooper to forge a partnership. He can play defensive midfield as well, though of course that position is pretty much secured!
Solskjaer - James will not be moving this Summer
According to Manchester Evening News, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has no intention of letting Daniel James leave Old Trafford this Summer either permanently or on loan.
All this may change, if the Red side of Manchester are able to capture Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for a reported 90m. It is well reported that Marcelo Bielsa is a staunch fan of James, but will he wait or turn his attention back to Ryan Kent. Media sources are claiming that Leeds are wanting to improve on their 10m bid for the former Liverpool star. Similar to James, Bielsa is a big fan of the Oldham born 23yo.
Rangers have disclosed that Kent has a £20m buyout clause in his contract. Compare that with with the 7.5m Rangers paid for him a year ago!
Premier League expresses disappointment not to allow fans back
The Premier League has issued a statement expressing its disappointment with the Government's decision not to allow fans to attend games from next month. The league maintain that it would be 'safe or safer' for fans to go to football matches than to go to shops, pubs and restaurants. The Premier League's statement read...
The Premier League is certain that, through League-wide guidelines and a code of conduct developed with scientific experts and agreed by the Government’s Sports Ground Safety Authority, fans in stadiums will be as safe or even safer than at any other public activity currently permitted. This is already evident in other European leagues.
The Premier League notes the Government’s announcement today and while the health of the nation must remain everyone’s priority, we are disappointed that the safe return of supporters to matches has been postponed.
The Premier League is certain that, through League-wide guidelines and a code of conduct developed with scientific experts and agreed by the Government’s Sports Ground Safety Authority, fans in stadiums will be as safe or even safer than at any other public activity currently permitted. This is already evident in other European leagues.'
Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them. Last season, Premier League clubs suffered £700m in losses and at present, our national game is losing more than £100m per month. This is starting to have a devastating impact on clubs and their communities.