Leeds United player's future remains in doubt amid fresh transfer links

Diego Llorente is scheduled to report back in for pre-season training at Leeds United next week - but his future remains very much up in the air. The smart money is on the Spanish international leaving Elland Road and moving onto pastures new this summer.

Llorente has spent the past 18 months on loan at Serie A club AS Roma. The Italian club are believed to have an option to buy Llorente as part of their loan agreement with United but have so far held back on exercising the clause after changing sporting director.

Recent reports on the continent have suggested Roma are still assessing their transfer options. It is thought Roma are reluctant to purchase Llorente on a permanent basis and are keen on restructuring the terms of the deal with United. Another loan move could be in the offing.

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United reportedly forked out £18m to sign Llorente in the summer of 2020. The defender still has two years left to run on his Whites deal.

Roma, though, may have to beat off strong competition from Spanish side Real Betis for Llorente's signature. Reports in Spain say the La Liga side are in the market for two central defenders this summer, with Llorente said to be a top target for manager Manuel Pellegrini. Betis are down in numbers at the back following Sokratis Papastathopoulos' retirement and the sale of Chadi Riad to Crystal Palace.

Midfielder Marc Roca, Llorente's United teammate, is expected to finalise his permanent switch to Real Betis next week. The move will end Roca's two-year association with the club and see the Whites pocket in the region of £5m.