By George Overhill

16th Sep, 2023 | 9:10am

Marc Roca finished at Leeds United after Real Betis loan move with permanent exit now on the cards

Marc Roca looks highly unlikely to play for Leeds United again as his comments on loan at Real Betis suggest he is focused elsewhere.

The Spaniard only arrived from Bayern Munich a year ago and was a regular under Jesse Marsch and his successors last season, making 36 total appearances for the Whites, with 32 coming in the Premier League.

But he headed back to La Liga thanks to the relegation release clause in his contract this summer, with Betis sporting director Ramon Planes since claiming the midfielder was “desperate” to move and was “calling every day” [Betis TV via Marca, 9 September].

According to Estadio Deportivo (14 September) Roca can remain at the Seville-based club for another season on loan if Daniel Farke doesn’t get the Whites promoted this year.

And he is reportedly “so attached” it is like he has already been with Betis for far longer, while the 26-year-old himself said: “Right now I have a contract with Leeds (until 2026). It is the two teams who have to agree, but right now I am comfortable and very happy”.

Roca being part of an exodus from Elland Road this summer showed he has little interest in playing for a Championship club, while he was thought to prefer a move back to Spain where he had previously been at Espanyol in order to rediscover his best form.

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Given Roca didn’t reach the level hoped for in the Premier League last term it is unlikely that he’s in line to return for another attempt if the Whites do go up this season, and having started all four La Liga games so far this term it is probably in everyone’s best interest if he plays his way into a permanent move.

Farke has belatedly been able to restock his midfield in the transfer market with Glen Kamara and Ilia Gruev joining Ethan Ampadu as join arrivals, while Archie Gray has graduated from the academy.

That leaves little space for Roca anyway so if Leeds United can recoup the £10million they sent to Bavaria for him last summer [Sky Sports] they will surely take it, and he will happily go.

His move to England didn’t really work out and the indications are that he isn’t eyeing a return, so his final Whites appearance looks set to be the 3-1 defeat at West Ham in the penultimate game of last season when on the brink of relegation, with both parties better off parting.

In other Leeds United news, another option in the midfield could now be set for a new contract since Farke loves him.