By Craig Scott

5th Jun, 2022 | 1:05pm

Leeds United ready to hijack Gonzalo Plata transfer as Sporting star awaits decision on prison sentence

Leeds United are ready to complete a quickfire move to sign Sporting CP and Ecuador forward Gonzalo Plata, according to O Jogo.

The Portuguese newspaper reports on their website that Real Valladolid are keen to sign the 21-year-old permanently this summer after he spent the 2021/22 season on loan with them, winning promotion to Spain’s La Liga.

It is understood, however, that Valladolid are unable to afford to pay Sporting the £8.5million fee required to turn their loan deal with Plata into a permanent one.

O Jogo claims that Leeds, meanwhile, are ready to hijack Valladolid’s interest and “accelerate the deal” for the Ecuadorian, who is reportedly waiting for “a decision on a possible six-month prison sentence” for a car accident he allegedly caused in December.

Wait… what?

O Jogo reports that Plata could be sentenced to six months in prison.

If that’s the case, then why are Leeds even bothering to look into signing a player like this?

We don’t want anyone who could have a criminal record signing for us so even if Plata might be a good replacement for Raphinha, we don’t want him anywhere near Elland Road.

Leeds have had some luck by looking at the Spanish second-tier in the past with Samuel Saiz being a hit in his time at Elland Road before Marcelo Bielsa arrived and bombed him out.

Victor Orta clearly knows the division well – but that doesn’t mean we should be signing players with a potential criminal record.

It’ll be a surprise if Raphinha remains at Leeds past the end of the summer transfer window because he’s way too good to be playing for a team of our stature in the Premier League.

He’s a Champions League player and deserves to be playing Champions League football with a massive club either in England or in Europe.

And while Orta needs to sign a replacement for Raphinha if he goes, he shouldn’t be looking into signing Plata based on this information.

In other Leeds United news, a player has jetted back into the UK from Dubai after making a decision on a move to Leeds.