COMMENT By Richard Parks

Leeds United are reportedly working on a deal to sign Kyle Bartley from Swansea City this summer.

The question everyone is asking should be, what on earth took you so long, Andrea Radrizzani?

The United owner took sole control of the club last May and had the perfect chance to move for Bartley in the wake of his outstanding season-long loan in 2016-17.

Yorkshire Evening Post correspondent Phil Hay reported on his personal Twitter account on Saturday evening that it was a “surprise” to him that Leeds did not pursue Bartley last summer.

Hay explained that the Championship giants “didn’t even speak to Swansea about a permanent deal” for the 6ft 4in powerhouse centre-back.

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It is quite staggering that Leeds did not pursue Bartley after his 16-17 exploits. Why on earth not?

The 26-year-old played 45 out of 46 league matches last season under Garry Monk, starting them all, in the club’s equal best league campaign since their Premier League days.

It was surely a no-brainer to at least try to sign one half of one of the best centre-back partnerships in the division.

Apparently not, for United top brass whose recruitment strategy last summer left so much to be desired. Swansea might not have been willing to sell Bartley at that point, but Leeds could and should have at least tried.

The cost of buying him will be more prohibitive for Leeds now than it at this point last year, as he signed a four-year contract with the Welsh outfit last August that runs until the summer of 2021, and which Sportrac is worth £1.5million-a-year, equivalent to £28,000-a-week.

United are starting work to clear up their transfer mess of the last two windows.

They should not have need to make a U-turn on Bartley. For most Leeds observers, it was blindingly obvious a year ago what the club should do.

In other Leeds United news, it can be revealed that Andrea Radrizzani is ready to end the careers of 13 senior players at the club in a jawdropping cull.

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