Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa waves at fans

Darren Bent claims that Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala could surprise Leeds United fans if he signed for the club this summer.

The former Aston Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admits the 29-year-old would not excite the Elland Road faithful but believes he would be a savvy addition.

The Daily Star report that Leeds are considering offering the centre-back a free transfer to Elland Road when his contract at the Riverside comes to an end this summer.

Bent says that while it might not be the most inspiring signing for the Leeds fans, he could be a value for money addition to boost the squad depth at Elland Road.

“He’s played in the Premier League already, he’s got the Championship experience as well so on a free transfer, that wouldn’t be a bad signing to make,” Bent told Football Insider.

“Even if he’s not going to be your first choice, just someone who has played in the Premier League. Someone who can back up some of the starters and can maybe be a good squad member.

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“You wouldn’t expect it, Leeds, if they were to get promoted for the first time in, what, nearly 20 years, the last thing you’d think is the first signing they’d make is Daniel Ayala.

“That’s not really going to excite the Leeds fans.” 

Ayala, who has 26 Premier League and 216 Championship games under his belt, has played 25 times for Boro this season.

Marcelo Bielsa’s first-choice centre-back pairing this season has been Ben White and Liam Cooper, with Gaetano Berardi and Kalvin Phillips filling in when needed.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED the club are plotting a second move to sign a Liverpool forward.