Darren Bent claims that Championship rivals will “a hundred per cent” be circling at Leeds United as Gaetano Berardi heads into the final months of his contract.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Spurs and England says that the Swiss international is the sort of player that a number of second-tier sides will be looking at due to his quality and experience.

The versatile defender sees his current contract at Elland Road expire at the end of the season, meaning he will be able to leave on a free if he does not put pen to paper on new terms.

Bent says that Berardi is actually a better defender than former Leeds favourite Pontus Jansson and that there will be a number of clubs queuing up if he does not commit to a future at Elland Road.

Asked if the Swiss star would be a man in demand in January, Bent told Football Insider: “Yeah, a hundred per cent. He’s a good defender, I think he’s a better defender than Pontus Jansson.

“You can trust him more than Pontus Jansson, who was a fans’ favourite because he made last-ditch tackles and I don’t think he was a proper defender. Berardi I think is a slightly better defender so I’m sure there won’t be a shortage of takers.

“There will be a lot of teams that could do with a defender of his ilk.

“They’ve got until the end of the season but what you don’t want to happen is for someone to come in in January and him move for basically next to nothing. It will be an interesting one.”

Berardi is the longest-serving player currently at Elland Road, having been part of the squad since 2014.

He is a huge favourite of United fans, who admire his commitment, passion and never-say-die spirit.

In other Leeds United news, Darren Bent says that the club are chasing the “perfect signing” from a Premier League giant.