Leeds United have confirmed the signing of Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente.
The 27-year-old made 29 appearances for the White and Blues last season, helping his side finish sixth in La Liga. The centre-back has signed a four-year deal at Elland Road and will wear the number 14 shirt that Eddie Nkatia wore last campaign.
Marcelo Bielsa has already strengthened his squad with the additions of Rodrigo, Robin Koch, Helder Costa, Alan Meslier and Joe Gelhard. Meanwhile, Jack Harrison has been brought back on loan from Manchester City.
The fee paid for Llorente is understood to be in the region of €20m (£18.3m), which would increase the club’s net spending this season to around £80m. This makes Leeds the biggest spenders of the three promoted clubs by some distance.
Llorente began his career with Real Madrid, making a handful of appearances for the first team but spending most of his time with the reserves. Successful loan spells at Rayo Vallecano and Málaga followed, before he left the Santiago Bernabeu permanently for Sociedad in 2017.
Raise your hand if you love Leeds/Denis Doyle/Getty Images.
As well as impressing at club level, Llorente also has international experience, having made his debut for Spain in 2016. He earned four additional caps for the Red Fury and recently appeared in his side’s Nations League game against Ukraine, where he was an unused substitute.
Bielsa will hope that Llorente can push forward a shaky Leeds defence. Last season, they had one of the best defensive records in the Championship. However, in their first two games back in the Premier League, the Whites have scored fewer than seven goals.
They opened the season with an entertaining 4-3 defeat against Liverpool, before beating Fulham by the same scoreline last weekend.