By Craig Scott

2nd Dec, 2021 | 7:50am

Barcelona may still want to sign Rodrigo from Leeds United in January - Phil Hay

Barcelona may still be interested in signing Leeds United forward Rodrigo when the January transfer window opens, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.

Writing in a Q&A on The Athletic’s website, Hay reported that Barca were keen on signing Rodrigo, 30, in the late stages of the summer transfer window.

And it seems as though that interest may not have gone away with the January window just weeks away from opening.

“One interesting thing that came up in the [summer] window was Barcelona’s late interest in Rodrigo,” said Hay.

“I’m presuming that interest is still there.”

How the mighty have fallen

Rodrigo isn’t a bad player – but is he Barcelona quality?

We’ve spent the last couple of decades seeing the Barca team decked with such talent as Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta and Xavi. But now, their squad is barely recognisable and doesn’t look anywhere near like one that can challenge for European – or even Spanish – honours.

Rodrigo hasn’t done badly for Leeds since he became the club’s record signing when he joined from Valencia for £27milloin last year. However, we cannot really say the Spain international has done that well either.

He’s performed in spells but ultimately, Leeds have not got their money’s worth for the Brazilian-born forward.

Would we be open to seeing Rodrigo leave? For the right price, maybe.

He’ll turn 31-years-old in March and will also enter the final two years of his contract at Elland Road at the end of the season.

January may be the last chance to sell him for a decent fee and recoup some of the cash paid to Valencia last year.

However, based on the crippling debt Barcelona have [Sky Sports], that could be unlikely.

It makes it even more unlikely when Rodrigo is reportedly earning £100,000-a-week at Elland Road [The Times].

In other Leeds United news, Hay has dropped a bombshell verdict on Marcelo Bielsa’s future at Elland Road.