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AS Roma set to sign Leeds United defender Diego Llorente on loan

AS Roma have reached an agreement to sign Leeds United defender Diego Llorente on loan until the end of the season, reports The Athletic.

The Spanish defender recently penned a contract extension until 2026, but he is now on his way out of Elland Road.

It is understood that Llorente is in the Italian capital Rome to finalise the deal with the Giallorossi, who will also have the option to make his transfer permanent for around £18 million next summer – the same fee they paid for his services from Real Sociedad.

Moving to Elland Road in 2020, the 29-year-old has been a key part of the defence over the last few seasons.

However, he has suffered a significant dip in his playing time following the arrival of Austrian defender Max Wober from Red Bull Salzburg earlier this month.

Having only not reunited with his former coach Jesse Marsch, Wober has also quickly established himself as a first-choice in the defence for Leeds while pushing Llorente down the pecking order.

Leeds are also reportedly closing in on a deal to sign Portuguese teenage centre-back Diogo Monteiro from Swiss club Servette.

Roma manager Jose Mourinho has been working on defensive reinforcements after sanctioning the sales of Matias Vina and Rick Karsdorp.

Vina has an agreement with Premier League club Bournemouth, while Karsdorp continues to be an outcast after falling out with Mourinho.

Recent reports state that Karsdorp could be reintegrated into the squad, but the final decision rests with the Portuguese boss.

With Chris Smalling’s future also hanging in the balance, the Giallorossi have secured the services of Llorente, whose experience will be vital in their push for the top-four spot in Serie A this term.

Giallorossi suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat against leaders Napoli over the weekend, which leaves them sixth in Serie A, only a point behind Atalanta and AC Milan.

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