Leeds United are in advanced talks with Real Sociedad over the signing of defender Diego Llorente, Sky Sports journalist Bryan Swanson has claimed.
The Whites have been in the hunt for another centre back to add to their squad in recent weeks, and it now seems they are not far away from doing that, with a deal for 27-year-old said to be close to completion.
Having already signed Robin Koch this summer, it did seem as though Leeds still needed to add another centre back this summer to provide cover for the former Freiburg man and club captain Liam Cooper at the heart of their defence this season.
Dinamo Zagreb’s Josko Gvardiol was heavily linked but judging by recent reports, the 18-year-old now appears to have chosen German side RB Leipzig instead, and it seems as though Leeds have not hung around in finding an alternative new recruit for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
According to Swanson’s latest update, the Whites are in advanced talks with La Liga outfit Real Sociedad over the signing of Llorente, with a deal for the five-times Spain international apparently close.
Twitter: LATEST: Leeds in advanced talks with Real Sociedad over defender Diego Llorente. Deal close. #LUFC #TransferShow #SSN (@skysports_bryan)
A graduate of Real Madrid’s academy, Llorente made a handful of appearances for the Spanish early in his career, and also spent time on loan in La Liga with Rayo Vallecano and Malage before making a permanent move to Sociedad in the summer of 2017.
Since then, the centre back has made 88 appearances in all competitions for Sociedad, scoring on eight occasions.
While it remains to be seen how much Leeds will pay for the services of the 27-year-old, there are two years remaining on his current contract with Sociedad, putting the Spanish side in a reasonably strong position to negotiate any offers that have been made by the Championship title winners.
This looks like a really good deal for Leeds to me.
With Cooper and Koch there only two options in central defence, it seemed clear they needed to add another option in that position to provide cover for the inevitable injuries and suspensions that happen over the course of a season.
In Llorente, they will be getting some whose top-flight experience means he should be a more than reliable option to fill that role, making this less of a risk than it might have been with a young defender such as Gvardiol, who would have been more of an unknown quantity at this level.
Dspite that, at 27-years-old, Llorente is nowhere near the latter stages of his career, meaning this is certainly not a short-term solution to that issue for Leeds, and it is good to see they have moved quickly to secure this signing following the disappointment of missing out on Gvardiol.