July 20, 2024

Leeds United look set to come to a compromise with Real Betis over the transfer of Marc Roca while a second Whites star has seriously chastised himself after a less-than-glorious start to the European Championships.

Roca and defender Max Wober were signed during Jesse Marsch’s short Leeds tenure, as the duo failed to keep them in the Premier League in 2022/23.

The former joined from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2022 for just over £10m on a four-year deal whereas the latter swapped Red Bull Salzburg for the Whites in a reported £11m deal six months later until 2027.

While Leeds were preparing for life in the Championship, the Spaniard and the Austrian quickly found an exit plan, courtesy of loan clauses inserted into their contracts by the club’s former sporting director Victor Orta.

When faced with playing in the English second-tier and taking a pay cut, or being able to head out on loan; both took the second option.Leeds United star Wilfried Gnonto left without an agent as summer speculation continues

Roca, who scored once in 36 appearances for Leeds, joined on a season-long loan to La Liga outfit Betis and Wober, who played 19 times for the Yorkshire outfit, headed to Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga.

Fast forward to the present and both players’ futures are somewhat up in the air. Roca began well at the Spanish outfit, starting 16 out of 19 La Liga games and was in the starting XI for all six of their Europa League group stage matches.

However, a viral infection, an ankle injury and struggles for form limited his game time under Manuel Pellegrini, but still made 37 appearances in all competitions.

Betis were understood to have a £10m option to turn the 27-year-old’s loan move into a permanent one but with Leeds failing to secure an immediate return to the Premier League this season, Los Verdiblancos are not willing to pay that much for him.

Now, Spanish publication Estadio Deportivo states Leeds and Betis are ‘finalising’ a deal for the former Espanyol midfielder and that another loan will not happen.

The report adds Betis will take the ‘middle path

Reports elsewhere in Spain state Roca will sign a four-year deal a Wober Villamarin and Roca’s ‘determination’ to stay in La Liga ‘tipped the balance’ in Betis’ favour.

As Leeds need to sell players to stay in line with profit and sustainability rules, with transfer exits prior to June 30 welcomed to improve their balance sheet, Roca’s funds are likely to be well received – despite making a loss on their initial investment.

Meanwhile, while Roca reportedly had an option to head out on loan again, Wober is understood to have no such way out and after the Euros, he will return to Elland Road.

The centre-back is representing Austria in the tournament at present but just as he hoped his performances would encourage teams to sign him this summer, the 26-year-old was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons on Monday night.

Wober, who Leeds reportedly had hoped to sell for £14.5m but Gladbach only wanted to pay around half of that, comically headed the ball into his own net as Austria fell to a 1-0 defeat to France in their Euros opener.

It remains to be seen if the Austria international will be plying his trade in the Championship with Leeds under Daniel Farke next term, or if he can find an Elland Road exit in the coming weeks and months

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