All roads lead to Rome for Rasmus Kristensen
Sunday, 25th Jun 2023 16:26 by Tim Whelan
Our Danish international is likely to be the latest to join the summer exodus out of Elland Road, as he is reported to be setting up a move to follow Diego Llorente to AS Roma.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport have reported that the Dane has agreed personal terms with Jose Mourinho’s mob, but the two clubs have yet to agree how to proceed with the move. Leeds would prefer to have a permanent transfer right away, presumably to generate a bit of cash to help with some incoming players. But Roma want Kristensen on a loan with an option to buy.
By his own admission, Kristensen was “struggling to adapt to the Premiership” in the early part of last season, and things didn’t get much better for him. If there’s any surprise in his departure it would be because he wouldn’t be so far out of his depth in the Championship, and if there’s any regret it’s because he was one of the few who did look fully committed in the last few games before relegation.
But one benefit would be that it gives us the opportunity to give Cody Drameh the game time he craves, with Luke Ayling the only other option at right-back. Several other clubs are reported to be interested in Drameh, but he’s had two good loan spells in the division we will be playing in next season, so surely it’s time to use this emerging talent rather than lose him.
As far as Llorente is concerned, last season’s loan deal had an â‚¬18million option to buy when it expired, but Roma are understood to want to lower that price. Which is probably because they want to exploit our new lower status than because they no longer think he’s worth that much. Sky Italia are reporting that Leeds and Roma have now reached an agreement, which is likely to be another loan move.
Another player likely to be on his way on a season-long loan with an option to buy is Marc Roca, as Estadio Deportivo have reported that Leeds have an agreement in principle with Real Betis. The Spanish club are said to be long-term admirers of Roca, which suggests they didn’t see much of him in action last season. He is another player who didn’t adapt to the rigours of the Premier League, but he might be able to revive his career back in his native country.
One player whose departure has already been confirmed is Tyler Roberts, and you might have been forgiven for forgetting that he was still on our books. He has gone to Birmingham City for a fee of around £1m, so we have only recouped a quarter of the fee we originally paid to West Brom for his signature.
There is a lot of speculation swirling around about several other players who might be on the way out of Elland Road, either because they are too good for the Championship, high earners we need to get to get off the books, or players who aren’t good enough to feature in our plans going forward. There should be some definite transfer news to report in the weeks to come, so watch this space.
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