By Alex Stevens
Kyle Bartley has delivered a glowing appraisal of Leeds United co-owner Andrea Radrizzani as he prepares to take sole charge of the club.
Radrizzani revealed to the Italian media on Wednesday that he will take full control of the Championship giants within the next fortnight as the paperwork is completed on his takeover.
The sport media tycoon will buy out Massimo Cellino’s half share of the club and assume the reigns by the end of the month.
Centre-back Bartley admitted his future is up in the air at the end of an impressive loan spell which ended with the team finishing seventh, one place and five points short of the play-offs.
But the 25-year-old spoke glowingly of Radrizzani following talks as he urged the Leeds owner to stick with Garry Monk as manager and give him the chance to steer the club to promotion next season.
Asked if Monk was the right man for the job, Bartley told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “In my eyes yes, and I think in hundreds of thousands with eyes too.
“Ultimately it’s the decision of the main man (Radrizzani). He’s a smart man, he’s intelligent and he’s a great guy. We’ve spoken to him a few times these last few months. I’m sure he’ll make the right decision in the best interests of the club and, as I said last week, for me that’s Garry Monk. My view on that will never change.
“This will be one of the biggest clubs, if not the biggest club, in the Championship next season so they’ve got to have ambition here. They’ve got to have a vision.”
The defender has formed a formidable partnership at the back alongside Pontus Jansson for Monk’s team, starting a remarkable 45 of Leeds’ 46 Championship matches this season.
But he is now set to return to parent club Swansea, where he has a year remaining on the contract he signed last summer before moving to Elland Road.
In other Leeds United transfer news, the club are in a three-horse race to sign a top-flight captain who is desperate to make a move to the Championship big hitters.