Roma Keen on Retaining Leeds Defender for Lower Fee

Roma took a flier on Diego Llorente in January, and the defender responded well when called upon lately. The Giallorossi would be happy to keep him, but not at the numbers originally negotiated with Leeds United. They hold a €18M option to buy, La Gazzetta dello Sport informs.

The center-back supplanted Roger Ibanez in recent matches, but he’ll miss at least a pair of weeks due to a thigh strain he suffered in the final stages of the Atalanta game. He earned the trust of José Mourinho, who had already coached him when he was a youngster at Real Madrid.

Roma won’t activate their clause to redeem Llorente, but they will get in touch with the Whites to sign him for a lower sum. However, they might face competition. According to Tuttomercatoweb, Villarreal are interested in the Spaniard and opened talks with the Premier League side.

In the meantime, the Giallorossi are on the verge of securing a younger center-back. PEC Zwolle’s Rav van den Berg has reportedly already taken the medicals for them in the Netherlands ahead of a summer move, Calciomercato relays (via OneFootball). Despite being 18, he has 31 appearances among the pros under his belt already.

Our Take on Roma and Llorente

The defender hasn’t been spectacular, but avoiding blunders and being physical enough is often all it takes to be a steady hand at the position. They should keep ahold of him if they manage to haggle his price tag down to €10M or so. On the other hand, they have to count every penny due to the Financial Fair Play.

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