By George Overhill

20th Jan, 2022 | 2:00pm

Local journo reacts to Spanish report claiming Rodrigo wants to quit Leeds United

Reports that Rodrigo is set to leave Leeds United in the January transfer window do not deserve much credence, according to Beren Cross.

The Spaniard was reported to be keen on a move to Barcelona (El Nacional) but the LeedsLive journalist does not believe this is accurate.

Responding to a question about reports on the forward’s future on the Leeds Live Q&A he wrote: “I read them, but didn’t give much credence to them. We have been here before with reports on Rodrigo’s unhappiness and on that occasion, he felt the need to address it publicly via his social media channels.

“Rodrigo always comes across as a very happy, amiable, modest person looking to make a life for himself over here under Marcelo. I can’t say they’re false for certain, but my own impression would be they don’t make a lot of sense.”

Mixed bag

Although it does not rule out the possibility, the news that the Whites man is unlikely to leave should come as positive news in light of the need for attacking options at Elland Road.

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The ex-Valencia man is one of the players who has been absent over recent weeks, contributing to a dearth of options for manager Marcelo Bielsa.

Therefore an imminent exit would be unhelpful, in the context of the club needing to drag itself away from the relegation zone in the Premier League over the second half of the season.

However, since the 30-year-old arrived for a club-record fee believed to be £26million (BBC), he has flattered to deceive in attempting to justify that price tag.

It would be harsh to write him off as a flop, as Chris Sutton suggested in the Daily Mail, but it would have been hoped that he would be a fixture in the starting line up, which has not been the case.

Phil Hay in The Athletic has also described the difficulties in integrating the admittedly “skilful, imaginative” player into Bielsa’s way of playing.

In the circumstances if Xavi had approached United with a substantial offer, that could have been recycled into funding some incoming transfers during the window, fans may have been happy to see him leave.

In other Leeds United news, funding is reportedly to be made available to make this big signing.