Spain forward Rodrigo linked with move to Leeds United

 Rodrigo Moreno has turned into Spain’s leading striker after a career from the youth academies of Flamengo and Real Madrid to become a star at Valencia after spells at Benfica and Bolton Wanderers.

The Brazilian-born Spain international could be set to be Leeds United’s marquee signing ahead of their return to the English Premier League after a 16-year absence.

Spanish media reported on Tuesday that Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani and sporting director, Victor Orta, have travelled to Valencia to negotiate a deal for Rodrigo.

The 29-year-old is valued at around 40 million euros.

However, Leeds United did not respond to a request to comment on the reports.

Should he join Leeds United, Rodrigo would be the latest high-profile departure from Valencia after captain Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin left for rival Villarreal this month.

Rodrigo is well versed in English football after making 17 Premier League appearances with Bolton while on loan from Benfica in the 2010/2011 season.

“England was good to me. You go to England, you know the physical demands. You’ve got no choice but to adapt and that makes you grow,” he told The Guardian in 2018.

“Working there daily helped. I was involved, it was my first senior season and I learned a lot,” he said.

A wide player who attacks down the right wing, Rodrigo can link the forward line and is particularly effective on the counterattack.

His qualities have made him the favoured forward of Spain coach Luis Enrique and predecessor Robert Moreno.

The forward has repaid their faith by scoring six goals in his last nine starts for his country.

He scored only seven goals in all competitions last season amid injuries and turmoil at Valencia, who sacked popular manager Marcelino in September and eventually finished ninth.

His best season in front of goal came in 2017/2018 when he scored 16 times in La Liga.

He scored decisive goals against Ajax Amsterdam and Chelsea FC in 2019 as Valencia reached the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.

Rodrigo also scored in the 2-1 win over FC Barcelona in the 2019 Copa del Rey final.

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