Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Leeds United sign Rodrigo from Valencia for club-record fee

SoccerNews in La Liga 29 Aug 2020

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Leeds United have announced the signing of striker Rodrigo Moreno from Valencia for a club-record fee.

The 29-year-old has signed a four-year contract with Marcelo Bielsa’s side, who secured promotion to the Premier League in 2019-20.

The Spain international moves to Elland Road for a reported £26million (€30m).

“For me, I’m really happy, very excited to join the club in this important season for all of us. It’s a new step in my career and I want to help the team to achieve the goals of the season,” Rodrigo said in a club interview.

“Leeds have been working for two weeks almost on this deal with Valencia. We knew Valencia are in more problems now because we didn’t achieve the Champions League last season, but since the first time Victor [Orta, director of football] talked to me I knew that I wanted a new challenge with Leeds, a historic club.”

He added: “Of course, to work with them [Bielsa] is to work with one of the best coaches in football in this moment. He did important things in different clubs and I’m really excited to learn from them and improve my football with hard work, with teamwork, and I hope we can do important things this season.

“I’m really excited to come back to the Premier League. How people feel the football there is different from other countries. I want to enjoy it. It’s an important step as a professional but in my life also.”

Rodrigo scored just seven goals in 34 appearances in all competitions last season, although his campaign was disrupted by knee problems.

Previously with Benfica, he was part of a treble-winning side in 2013-14 and twice reached the Europa League final before joining Valencia in 2014.

He scored five goals in seven appearances in the Copa del Rey in 2018-19, including the winner in the final against Barcelona, as Valencia lifted the trophy in their centenary year.

Rodrigo spent the 2010-11 season in the Premier League on loan at Bolton Wanderers, playing 17 times in the top flight and scoring once.

Valencia have been forced to sell a number of first-team players due to financial difficulties compounded by the coronavirus crisis.

Ferran Torres joined Manchester City for an initial €23m (£20.9m) and midfield duo Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin were sold to Villarreal for a reported combined fee of just €8m.

Leeds, who are back in the Premier League for the first time since 2004, start the 2020-21 season away to champions Liverpool on September 12.

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