Phil Hay has been giving an insight into Barcelona’s late interest in Leeds United’s Rodrigo over the summer on the Phil Hay podcast.
Leeds managed to do some of their own late business during the summer transfer window as they brought in Daniel James from Manchester United on deadline day, which followed a similar pattern of last year’s window when they signed in another winger on deadline day in Raphinha.
Who would you rather see start for Leeds?
Despite their new recruit arriving, they were still unwilling to sanction a loan deal for Rodrigo to join Spanish giants Barcelona and Hay confirmed on his podcast that any potential deal ‘never got off the ground’ with Marcelo Bielsa seemingly determined to make the club-record signing work at Elland Road.
Hay offered an insight into how the interest was received at Leeds from club and player (25:13):
“The fact that Barcelona at late notice had kind of looked at him and thought ‘wonder if we could get him in, wonder if there was a deal to be done’. And it never got off the ground, because as is the case a bit at Barcelona, not even a bit these days, it’s all a bit haphazard, and it’s all a bit of a shambles, and the idea in their head was that they may be able to loan him.
“Now clearly loaning out a £27 million signing is not going to work for Leeds, it was really late in the window, it was deadline day, at the point where that was even mentioned properly.
“It was a non-story in the end because it just never got going, it was too late for Leeds to replace him. Bielsa didn’t want him to go and crucially, Rodrigo didn’t want to go either, he wanted to stick around and to have a proper crack in the Premier League.”
TIF Thoughts on Rodrigo…
The Spaniard arrived with a somewhat big reputation from his time with Valencia having scored goals in La Liga and both the Champions League and Europa League but after an injury-hit last campaign, this season has not got off to a great start with zero goals and assists and having been subbed off at half time twice already against Manchester United and Liverpool respectively.
It still remains to be seen if Rodrigo was a necessary signing as he arrived as a more natural striker but with Patrick Bamford performing under Bielsa in the Championship and Premier League, he’s unlikely to get ahead of the England international and that has seen him shoehorned into a midfield role.
In other news: ‘I saw him’ – Promising update emerges at Leeds United