By Joe Ellis

10th Jun, 2022 | 3:40pm

Leeds United face Marc Roca transfer battle as Barcelona enter race

Leeds United will have to battle with FC Barcelona to sign Bayern Munich’s 25-year-old midfielder Marc Roca this summer, according to BILD.

The former Spanish Under-21 international is open to a fresh start away from the Allianz Arena, where he has been since his 2020 transfer from Espanyol, and the club are willing to let him go.

The Bundesliga champions have even said to the Spaniard that he is not good enough to get regular playing time under Julian Nagelsmann which has sparked his desire for an exit.

The Whites though are not on their own in wanting to sign Roca in this transfer window as La Liga giants Barcelona lead the chasing pack, consisting of Real Betis, Sevilla and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Those pursuing a deal will only have to pay £7.6million to make a deal happen with Bayern happy to just break even on a player that they see as surplus to requirements.

Bargaining chip?

Victor Orta’s ears may prick up upon hearing of Barcelona’s interest because they are a club we will be dealing with a lot this summer.

There have been widescale reports of the Catalan club’s endless pursuit of our star winger Raphinha but the deal is starting to hit the brakes owing to their rather appalling financial situation.

They are in desperate need of a squad revamp but they are struggling to afford it and perhaps we could use our Brazilian as a way to make Barca back out of this Roca deal.

Orta could theoretically say to the La Liga side that he would drop the asking price by £5-10million if they withdraw from the race and leave us to go after him without their impact.

It won’t be plain sailing for us with Frankfurt being the reigning Europa League champions and the other two interested sides from his homeland but if we act fast, and smartly, we can beat them all to the punch and begin a nice little relationship with one of the world’s most famous clubs in the meantime.

In other Leeds United news, the 2022-23 retained list has been announced and there are seven players heading for the Elland Road exit door, including a 29-year-old flop.