By George Overhill

27th Jul, 2022 | 7:12pm

Leeds United record signing Rodrigo could seek exit before window closes ahead of World Cup

Record signing Rodrigo could look to leave Leeds United before the end of the transfer window if his World Cup place is at risk, according to Beren Cross.

The £27million man has two years left on a four-year contract and is currently at a key juncture in his time with the club, which the Leeds Live journalist notes is the same stage both Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips had reached before their big-money sales this summer.

At 31 he will not be worth more as a saleable asset than his is this summer, so the Whites face the choice of moving him now, getting him to sign a new deal, or seeing him walk in the next couple of summers for a small amount or nothing.

The Spanish international has shown flashes of quality but has frustrated at times, and Cross believes that considering how much he cost to bring in United would have “major reservations” about letting such an investment leave for free when his contract ends, although there is no suggestion a move is imminent.

He writes for Leeds Live on Wednesday (27 July): “If, with the acquisition of Brenden Aaronson especially, Rodrigo feels opportunities may dry up for him in this team, he may yet look for a move before the window closes to give himself the best chance of making that Qatar tournament.

“La Liga clubs are sure to hold an interest in taking him back if a deal was there to be done, but the terms have to be right for the Whites after the biggest transfer investment in their history.”

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A question but not a priority

Before the conclusion of the 2021/22 season there was some suggestion that Barcelona were weighing up moves for both Raphinha and Rodrigo, with Phil Hay reporting their interest in the older man in The Athletic.

Considering how torturous it proved for the former to eventually move to the Camp Nou it seems pretty unlikely that anybody has an appetite for a second round of that.

There doesn’t appear to have been much of a market for the latter this summer, but the fact that he has never become the star of the side that his price tag suggested means the club would likely take notice should anyone come in with late interest.

But with the priority, outside of filling the gaping whole at left-back, currently to find help in the attacking areas it would be potentially foolhardy to instead get lighter in that area.

Rodrigo chipped in with some important goals late in the relegation battle, and there is a suspicion that if he had arrived at Elland Road for a more modest outlay he would be seen as a serviceable squad member.

Jesse Marsch values him as a personality so it hardly seems like a priority to consider his potential exit.

Assuming he is still at the club when the window closes, a new contract presumably will be discussed.

Aaronson is one of the highlights of the transfer window so is sure to get extensive game time, which could put Rodrigo’s World Cup chances under threat, but if he wanted out he would probably have made a push towards it by now.

In other Leeds United news, one of the main transfer sagas of the summer is due for a €35million conclusion in the next 24-hours with the club finally set for a definitive answer.