By Michael Brown

28th Aug, 2020 | 6:00pm

'Big Signing' - Exclusive: Top Pundit wowed as Leeds seal near-£50m deal including wages

Rodrigo has been backed to establish himself as the Leeds United first choice striker by Michael Brown.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds midfielder delivered his verdict as the Spanish international nears a move to Elland Road.

Valencia announced this week that they had reached an agreement with Leeds to sell the 29-year-old.

However, the deal is yet to be announced by Leeds, or the player formally unveiled.

This site revealed that Rodrigo will in a deal worth £48m including transfer fees and wages.

The transfer fee totals £27m with the club breaking their current wage structure to hand Rodrigo a £100,000-a-week contract.

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Asked by Football Insider whether Rodrigo represents a coup for Leeds United, Brown said: “It’ll be a big signing for Leeds United.

“They know their targets and they’ve gone for them. The trust is in Marcelo Bielsa.

“They do need a bit of help and that will be a good addition from somebody you’d expecting to be playing many minutes.”

Last season Patrick Bamford established himself as Bielsa’s first choice striker.

The 26-year-old scored 16 goals in 45 Championship games.

Bielsa brought in Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah on loan in the first-half of the season but he only started two league games.

Leeds then moved for RB Leipzig’s Jean-Kévin Augustin on another loan deal in January.

However, his injury problems meant Augustin was limited to just three substitute appearances.

The club decided not to exercise their option to turn the deal into a permanent move.

Rodrigo has scored 58 goals in 218 games for Valencia since joining in 2016.

The forward also has eight goals for Spain in 22 appearances.

In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can reveal the door remains ajar for the club to seal another £20m+ striker after a huge development.