By Noel Whelan

5th Sep, 2020 | 1:57pm

Exclusive: Whelan drops surprise Rodrigo-Hernandez claim after Leeds deal completed

Noel Whelan made the surprise claim striker Rodrigo could start in the number 10 role for Leeds United and be a successor to Pablo Hernandez.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker also said Leeds need to sign another experienced forward.

Rodrigo, 29, signed a four-year contract with the club last week after joining for a record fee from La Liga side Valencia.

Football Insider revealed that the whites have payed an initial £27m for the Spanish international striker with the deal totalling £48m in fee and wages.

The deal smashes Leeds’ previous record fee, the £20m they paid West Ham United for Rio Ferdinand in 2000.

Asked by Football Insider whether Leeds will do any more transfer business this summer, Whelan said: “I think it’s right that there looking for another striker because I believe they need more fire power still.

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“Rodrigo is a fantastic player but we don’t know where they’re going to play him. They could play Rodrigo as a number 10, off the striker because he might be the player that fills Pablo Hernandez’s boots.

“We don’t know how it’s going to turn out yet, we’ll have to see what’s in Marcelo Bielsa’s mind.

“There are two different positions I believe Rodrigo can play which is centre forward and that number 10 role off the striker.

“So I do believe he’s still going to be in the market, I still believe they need a more experienced striker as well.

“Striker, centre half and then maybe another midfield player and we might have it covered.

“But then you might be pushing the budget over the £100m mark.”

In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can REVEAL the club are in advanced talks over a blockbuster new signing with a deal to be done last week.