Leeds United complete deadline day signing of Diogo Monteiro, perfect timing avoids Brexit rule
Leeds United have made Diogo Monteiro their fourth signing of the transfer window with perfect timing around Brexit rules, The Times reports.
The teenager arrives from Servette in Switzerland, replacing the departed Diego Llorente who is now in Italy with Jose Mourinho’s Roma, and signs a three-and-a-half year contract.
Since Britain were taken out of the European Union Premier League rules now prevent the signing of youngsters from foreign leagues, but the Whites have pulled off a deal in the small window between the transfer deadline, at 11pm on Tuesday, and the player’s birthday just three days earlier.
The update from The Times at on deadline day morning (31 January): “Monteiro turned 18 on Saturday, meaning Leeds avoided a Brexit rule that blocks Premier League clubs from signing players from overseas until they’re 18.”
Eye of the needle
The Whites hierarchy do look to have planned this window strongly, as by definition they needed to get the negotiations started on this move long before he would have been accessible.
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Leeds united spotted a window within the window to get this one done, and perhaps if Diego Llorente’s loan-to-buy exit for Roma hadn’t sprung up late in January Monteiro would have been left until the summer.
He is tabbed to join the under-21s in the first instance, but that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute to the first team under Jesse Marsch before the end of the season.
The last teenager who came in on transfer deadline day and joined the age-group side was of course Willy Gnonto, and the Italian has since blossomed into one of the stars of Marsch’s side.
Given Max Wober has already arrived this month and offered an immediate boost to the defence there might not be the same need for Monteiro to be given a chance just yet, but Liam Cooper and Robin Koch have both struggled this season so it isn’t out of the question.
There are still a few hours left for comings and goings so there is space yet for a strong window to become even more eventful.
In other Leeds United news, the club will use their strong negotiating position for a cut-price deal for another potential arrival on deadline day.