Sources: Bielsa freezes out Leeds international outfield player, wants him gone this month
By Wayne Veysey
Marcelo Bielsa has frozen out Vurnon Anita from the Leeds United senior squad even though he has returned to Thorp Arch to train, Football Insider understands.
The Holland international, 30, is surplus to requirements at Elland Road and is not part of Bielsa’s planning for the new campaign starting on Sunday against Bristol City.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that the club and manager Bielsa are keen to get Anita off the wage bill and for him to find a new club before the end of the month.
It comes after Anita held extensive talks this summer about a move to Greek club Panathinaikos without failing to reach an agreement.
He has a year remaining on the Leeds contract he signed in the summer of 2017 after moving to the club on a free transfer after his Newcastle United contract had expired.
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Anita has a wealth of top-level experience, including 106 Premier League appearances, three Holland caps and played a key role in Newcastle’s 2016-17 promotion campaign.
He was expected to make a big impact at Elland Road, but he was mainly used by Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom in his debut campaign as a back-up option at full-back rather than in his favourite central midfield role.
Bielsa sanctioned a loan to Dutch side Willem II last season and there was hope among the United hierarchy he would have sealed a permanent move by now.
The UK transfer window shuts next Thursday, but most windows in European countries will remain open until the end of this month, meaning Anita still has plenty of time to find a new club.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a club are tabling £2m-a-year United player offer as talks advance.