Despite weeks of speculation suggesting otherwise, it appears that Laurens De Bock will not be joining Aris Thessaloniki. The Leeds United outcast has been linked with a move to the Greek side for most of August but the lack of an official announcement had many wondering what was going on.
Press Aris reported this weekend that the club were simply waiting to cancel the contract of Spanish wing-back Alex Menendez before doing a deal for the player. The sudden exit of the previous director of football Dinos Diamantopoulos had also delayed any deal.
However, Greek paper Sportime have now confirmed the deal is off. The report states that no matter what happens with Menendez, Aris will not be signing the Leeds defender.
It is quite the change from a week ago. De Bock himself spoke to fansite All About Aris last weekend. He made it clear that a deal to join the Super League side was just days away.
His words backed up up a report from Leeds Live which stated that the left-back’s move was ‘imminent’. Ethnos, a local source in Thessaloniki, also reported that an announcement was ‘just a matter of time’.
Now, it seems, the upheaval at Aris may have seen the move for De Bock fall apart.
This will not be welcome news for Leeds fans. Signed for a reported £1.5 million (YEP) in January 2018 the Belgian struggled at Elland Road and was loaned out to KV Oostende last season. Marcelo Bielsa clearly has no plans to use him this season and his exit to Aris would have taken some salary strain off of the club.
Now, with just over a week left of the transfer window across much of Europe, Leeds have a fight on finding a new destination for their Belgian outcast.