Valencia on Tuesday agreed to sell forward Rodrigo Moreno to Leeds United in a club record deal. The Spanish international becomes Marcelo Bielsa’s first high-profile signing of the summer transfer window.
The newly promoted side will pay Valencia a fee of ₤27 million, with another ₤9 million in add-ons raising the total fee to ₤36 million. This sum will eclipse the record fee Leeds paid for Rio Ferdinand 20 years ago.
The Spanish club released a statement confirming the sale: “Valencia have reached a preliminary agreement with Leeds United this Tuesday for the transfer of footballer Rodrigo Moreno, at the expense of completing all the documentation and other formalities and passing the mandatory medical examination”.
The 29-year old is a product of Real Madrid’s youth academy and joined Benfica in 2010. Following a successful loan spell, Rodrigo joined Valencia on a permanent basis, scoring 59 goals in 220 total appearances. He has also become a mainstay in the Spanish side, earning 22 caps and earning a spot on the 2018 World Cup roster.
The Spaniard is not new to the English top flight, making 17 appearances for Bolton in the 2010-2011 season while on loan from Benfica.
Rodrigo accompanies Helder Costa as attacking additions to join the Leeds side this summer, in addition to Manchester City winger Jack Harrison whose loan was again renewed. The Championship winners hope that their rampant scoring form in the second division can be maintained in the Premier League.
Valencia are one of many clubs that have been forced to sell due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Rodrigo’s departure follows the high-profile departures of Ferran Torres, Francis Coquelin, and club captain Dani Parejo.
Despite the imminent signing, Bielsa’s quest to bolster his side has not stopped. Leeds have submitted multiple bids to retain Brighton defender Ben White, while they have also registered interest in Rangers winger Ryan Kent, Liverpool winger Harry Wilson, and others.
The Peacocks kick off their first Premier League campaign in 16 years against defending champions Liverpool on September 12.