By Craig Scott

4th Aug, 2022 | 8:40am

Helder Costa close to Leeds United loan exit, loan-to-buy deal on the cards with Al-Ittihad

Al-Ittihad are close to finalising a deal to sign Leeds United winger Helder Costa on a loan-to-buy basis, according to Saudi journalist Ahmad Al-Ajlan.

The AlajlanAD journalist suggested via his personal Twitter account on Wednesday night (3 August) that the Saudi Arabian club will have the option to make Costa’s stay in the Middle East permanent at the end of his loan.

It is understood that the deal is close to completion, meaning the 28-year-old winger could have played his final match for the Yorkshire giants.

Cheerio

It was always going to be a shock if Costa didn’t move on from Leeds this summer after failing to impress at Elland Road since his big-money, £15million permanent move from Wolves in 2020.

He spent last season on loan at Valencia but failed to make the permanent move to the Spanish club due to sub-par performances throughout his stay at the Mestalla.

The Angola international has also twice struggled in the Premier League with both Leeds and Wolves.

A move to Saudi Arabia to join Al-Ittihad will be a fresh start for him and it’ll also give him the chance to work for former Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo again.

Costa played some of the best football of his career for Nuno when Wolves won the Championship title a few years back so he’ll no doubt be hoping he can revive that form for the Portuguese boss.

Al-Ittihad play in an easier league than the top ones in Europe but it’s still very competitive and also has a massive following so there’ll still be plenty of pressure on Costa’s shoulders.

But if he’s playing against weaker opposition for a manger he knows well, there’s every chance he’ll shine for Al-Ittihad and the loan deal will be turned into a permanent one.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites could make a move to seal this blockbuster transfer before they kick off against Wolves on Saturday.