Sunday, July 11, 2021

Leeds Live 9/7/21 Junior Firpo's decision to choose Leeds United over AC Milan and European suitors revealed

Leeds United secured the signing of Barcelona full-back Junior Firpo earlier this week on a four-year deal for a £13 million fee

Victor Orta was 'instrumental' once again in ensuring that Junior Firpo chose Leeds United over some of Europe’s elite clubs.

The Spanish left-back was announced as the third signing of the summer on Tuesday in a deal worth around £13.2 million.

It was the influence of the club’s director of football that helped tempt Firpo into a move to Elland Road as a handful of European heavyweights prepared offers of their own.

Orta met the 24-year-old in Spain prior to the deal being agreed and the player has since revealed that he was excited by the plans laid out in front of him by the Leeds representative.

Speaking on the Blue, White and Yellow Podcast, Leeds United reporter Joe Donnohue believes it was the commitment shown by the club that helped get the deal over the line.

HOW GOOD COULD FIRPO BE FOR LEEDS UNITED?

“[Orta] isolated for five days when he went to Spain to have the lunch meeting with Junior Firpo, his agent and Gaby Ruiz [Leeds' Head of European Scouting],” Donnohue said. “The fact that he’s gone to those lengths shows he cares about his job.

“Nobody who’s followed Leeds for however long Victor’s been here needs to be told that. But to those on the outside and for somebody like Junior, that pushed Leeds ahead in the race.”

AC Milan had also expressed their interest in bringing Firpo to the San Siro but any chance of a move was extinguished pretty quickly as they could not guarantee regular playing time in his favoured position, nor could they offer a permanent fee to Barcelona.

The Spanish club are in dire straits financially, as they attempt to re-register Lionel Messi but need to offload players and generate funds before doing so.

“There was interest from AC Milan,” claimed Donnohue. “But he likely wouldn’t have started there because of Theo Hern√°ndez so it would’ve been very much a sideways step.”

It is very encouraging for Leeds fans that Firpo is clearly hungry to play regular first-team football and will be expected to start at the beginning of the 2021/22 campaign in a few weeks.

The departure of Ezgjan Alioski has left supporters in no doubt that the new signing will be one of the first names on the team sheet next month.

It seems that was the deciding factor as to why the North Macedonia international allowed his contract to run out at Elland Road.