Exclusive: Danny Mills claims Leeds to hold last-minute talks over future of senior defender
Danny Mills claims that Leeds United will leave Gaetano Berardi’s contract situation until the last minute as he heads into the final months of his current terms.
The former Leeds and England full-back, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the club’s push for promotion leaves the Swiss international’s position up in the air, suggesting he could go if the Whites return to the Premier League.
The 31-year-old’s contract comes to an end in the summer of 2020, leaving him free to leave Elland Road for nothing should he not put pen to paper on new terms.
Mills says that Berardi may be deemed surplus to requirements in the top flight but seen as a valuable option should they remain in the Championship, suggesting Leeds will leave it late over offering him a new deal.
Mills told Football Insider: “I think if they step up into the Premier League, they might be able to afford to let him go but if they’re back in the Championship, why not give him another year or so and keep him around.
“He’s obviously a good professional, Bielsa can trust him, he works hard and knows the system. I think that will be one where they’ll probably say to him: ‘Look, let’s just wait and see what happens, let’s see where we go this season but we’re not going to discuss anything until April, May time.'”
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Berardi, who has played 12 times across all competitions this season, has 142 appearances under his belt during his time at Elland Road, with 130 of those coming in the Championship.
A versatile defender, he has mostly filled in at centre-back for Marcelo Bielsa but has also featured as a full-back.
In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can reveal Arsenal’s stance on Eddie Nketiah amid a major development at Elland Road.