By Craig Scott

15th Jan, 2022 | 5:56pm

Rodrigo asks Marcelo Bielsa to quit Leeds United with Barcelona in talks over deal

Rodrigo has informed Marcelo Bielsa he wants to leave Leeds United with Barcelona in talks to sign him, according to El Nacional.

The Catalonian newspaper reports that Rodrigo, 30, is willing to take a pay cut to join Barca as he sees a move to the Nou Camp as his best chance of being able to make Spain’s World Cup squad for later this year.

It is understood that Barca’s director of football Mateu Alemany knows Rodrigo after working together at Valencia and talks have been held.

Leeds are reportedly resisting a sale but El Nacional adds that the Whites would consider selling Rodrigo for up to £16.6million.

Unhappy and not-suited

Rodrigo has been linked with a move away from Leeds for what seems like a while now with the Brazil-born Spain international struggling to get settled at Elland Road.

He became our record-signing for £27million last year when he joined from Valencia.

Many thought that he would become Bielsa’s starting striker due to Patrick Bamford’s performances in front of goal in the Championship but Bamford’s actually improved since promotion and that hasn’t helped his Spanish teammate.

Rodrigo has been in and out of the starting line-up, suffered from injuries, contracted COVID, had speculation surrounding his future and been played in all sorts of positions.

El Nacional claims he’s struggled to adapt to Bielsa’s system and the way of life in Leeds, which does make sense when you think about it.

Barca were linked with Rodrigo in the summer and it seems as though they have genuine interest in him.

But we’d be shocked if Bielsa sanctions a sale when he likes to have a closely-knit bunch of players.

He also doesn’t like doing much business in January and selling Rodrigo means there’ll just be another new player to sign before the end of the month.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are ready to “break the bank” to sign a potential replacement for Rodrigo.