By George Overhill

28th Mar, 2023 | 7:10pm

Leeds United: Roma have 'no intention' to pay Diego Llorente fee as fresh opportunity arises

Roma currently have “no intention” of paying Leeds United the £18million redemption clause in Diego Llorente’s loan deal, according to Roma Today.

The Spanish defender was surprisingly brought in by Jose Mourinho at the tail end of the January transfer window on a temporary basis with the potential to make it a permanent move in the summer.

Perhaps less surprisingly, he hasn’t so far blown the Serie A side away with his performances in rare outings, and as such there appears to be no chance of the Whites banking that money without a major turnaround.

However, the 29-year-old is now set for another chance to change that as he is in line for his first Serie A start against Sampdoria on Sunday (2 April), having been forced off with injury at half-time the only time he was named in the XI so far in the Europa League.

Time is running out

Leeds United would certainly like to have an extra £18million in the bank for a player who has never looked entirely comfortable at the club.

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But if Llorente himself wishes to have the opportunity to move on then he is going to need to make the most of his big chance in Serie A.

As the Roma Today story points out, the club are in the race for Champions League qualification and have the Europa League quarter-finals coming up over the final weeks of the season, so there is plenty to play for in what amounts to a two month audition.

The door appears not to be entirely closed on a permanent move being made quite yet, with the former Real Sociedad man still holding the chance to convince Mourinho to keep him.

In an ideal world Llorente can translate his the Sampdoria start into a standout performance that keeps his place going forward, and if he plays an important role in the Italian capital between now and the start of June there is always a benefit to sticking with a known quantity than taking a risk on another target.

Realistically it would be unexpected, just as it was when Roma brought him in to start with off another indifferent season in West Yorkshire, and yet Llorente made the match-day squad for Spain five times in 2022, starting twice, despite a miserable run of form in England.

So perhaps he is just not particularly suited to the Premier League and given the right backing he can still be a success in Italy, but time is of the essence if he is going to make it so.

In other Leeds United news, Sky Sports have shared a fresh update from Elland Road after a major injury blow hit Javi Gracia’s squad.

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