Leeds reach €15m agreement to sign Barcelona defender Junior Firpo

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Leeds United have reached an agreement to sign Barcelona defender Junior Firpo for €15 million (£13m/$18m), Goal can confirm.

Leeds have won the race for Firpo's signature ahead of several Premier League and Serie A clubs, with the 24-year-old set to be unveiled at Elland Road in time for the start of their pre-season campaign.

Firpo will become the Yorkshire outfit's first summer signing when the transfer is made official, with Barca eager to push it through as quickly as possible amid a financial crisis at Camp Nou.

Why have Barca decided to sell Firpo?

Firpo is the third player Barca have decided to offload in recent days, after Jean-Claire Todibo's permanent move to Nice and the release of Matheus Fernandes.

More outgoings are expected in the coming weeks as the Blaugrana seek to continue reducing their wage bill after posting debts in excess of €1bn at the start of the year.

However, Goal understands that Firpo's former club Real Betis will receive 15 per cent of the final transfer fee, and Barca will only be allowed to reinvest €3.2m in new players due to La Liga restrictions.

Why has Firpo chosen Leeds?

West Ham, Southampton, Inter and AC Milan have also been linked with Firpo in recent months, but he has opted to join Leeds to link up with head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

The Argentine head coach put in an express request for the former Spain Under-21 international, and he will likely slot straight into the starting XI when the 2021-22 Premier League season kicks off in August.

Firpo at Barca

The left-back will leave Camp Nou after failing to establish himself as a regular since joining from Betis in the summer of 2019.

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Jordi Alba continued to be preferred over Firpo, which limited him to 41 appearances, with 22 starts, for Barca over two seasons.

Firpo's playing time continued to decrease in 2020-21 under Ronald Koeman, as he played in just seven league matches under the Dutch manager.

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