Samuel Saiz’s days on the books at Elland Road are over, as Leeds have confirmed the midfielder has joined Spanish Segunda Division side Girona for an undisclosed fee.
The 28-year-old made a shock exit from West Yorkshire in the winter claiming personal reasons were behind his decision to quit the Whites during our promotion challenge, but it is now believed that his relationship with Marcelo Bielsa played a part in his sudden departure.
Saiz’s rapport with the boss allegedly reached a stage where the Argentine was happy to part ways with the £14,323-a-week midfielder on a permanent basis in January, and left the Spaniard fearful of having to return to West Yorkshire for another year.
United issued the former Real Madrid youth player with instructions to find himself a new club by the end of the week, otherwise he would have been required back at Thorp Arch for pre-season training immediately.
He has now joined Girona on a three-year contract after entering into advanced negotiations with the Segunda Division outfit earlier this week, after they were relegated from La Liga in the 2018/19 season.
Saiz had been heavily linked with a permanent return to Spain’s top-flight this summer, but no side were willing to meet Leeds’ £6million valuation, with Valencia’s reported bid from May believed to have fallen well shy of the figure quoted.
Getafe, the side who took the Madrid-born playmaker on loan last season, had also shown an interest in striking a permanent deal, but were not thought to have presented a sufficient enough case to United for the board to sanction his move, as they would only consider full-time deals.
The fee United are understood to have received for his transfer to Girona is believed to be well below our £6million valuation, and instead closer to £2.5million.
A cut-price exit for Saiz may not help our summer budget a great deal, but ending the long-running saga of where the playmaker will be once the window slams shut may was clearly enough to convince Victor Orta and co. that something is better than nothing and having an unhappy player in the camp.
Saiz made 58 appearances for Leeds during his year and a half with the club before joining Getafe on loan, where he would start just four of his 13 appearances across all competitions.