Leeds to rival West Ham, Southampton for Barca defender

Leeds United have joined the race to sign Junior Firpo from Barcelona this summer, according to reports.

The left-back is keen to engineer a move to gain regular first team football.

In the season just finished he made less than 10 league appearances for the Catalan giants and only completed a full 90 minutes twice.

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According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo (via Daily Mail), Leeds are hoping to snap up the talented player by signing him for a reduced fee.

Barcelona‘s financial situation means they need to offload squad members in the coming months.

Firpo could be one of the first to leave Ronald Koeman’s side, as he reportedly has ‘no intention’ of remaining in Spain next term.

The 24-year-old is a versatile player who can operate as a left-back, left wing-back or right-back.

Leeds scouts have lined up Firpo as a potential replacement for Ezgjan Alioski at Elland Road.

Alioski, who represented North Macedonia in the group stage of Euro 2020, is likely to leave on a free transfer after running down his contract.

‘Gjanni’ seems to be keen on a new challenge with a number of Serie A clubs interested in his services.

However, Leeds will face stiff competition to land Firpo and make him Alioski’s successor.

West Ham were rumoured to be targeting him in the January transfer window. They were linked with a £16million offer to give Aaron Cresswell competition in the first team.

But a bid never materialised, allowing Southampton to make ‘initial contact’ with the the player’s agent last month.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is aiming to replace Ryan Bertrand, who has left St Mary’s after six years on the south coast.

Talks are ongoing, with Barcelona said to be ‘confident’ about Firpo’s departure.

Firpo started his career with Real Betis in Spain. He played 43 times in all competitions, scoring five goals and assisting seven more from defence.

That form alerted Barcelona to his talents. The 26-time La Liga champions signed him for £16.2million in August 2019.

They had the view of making him Jordi Alba’s backup at the Nou Camp, although Firpo is now keen to get more game time.

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