Ben White is set to remain at Leeds United until the Championship season is completed as part of a dramatic new Fifa proposal, Football Insider understands.
The world ruling body’s working group on Covid-19 has recommended a set of emergency measures that would include a restriction on player movement until leagues are completed.
The leaked Fifa document, details of which have been relayed to Football Insider, cites the global pandemic as a ‘force majeure’ — an unforeseen situation that prevents contracts from being fulfilled.
Under the heading ‘Expiring agreements (contracts) and new agreements’, Fifa states that while contracts normally run to the year ending June 30, those dates are set in tandem with the timings of a football season.
It now proposes to extend all expiring current contracts until the season ends, with new agreements delayed until the new season is under way.
The plans were discussed by Fifa yesterday and could be decided by the Fifa council in the coming weeks.
They would have major ramifications in the Championship promotion race.
Division leaders Leeds have five loan players on their books – defender Ben White, goalkeeper Illan Meslier and star attacker trio Jack Harrison, Helder Costa and Jean-Kevin Augustin.
Of those, Costa’s loan-to-buy move from Wolves becomes permanent on 1 July, while United may already have tied up a permanent deal for Meslier by then.
As revealed by Football Insider, the Championship leaders have told his parent club Lorient they intend to push through a £5million permanent deal.
The main uncertainty for United is over White, Harrison and Augustin, on loan from Brighton, Man City and RB Leipzig respectively.
Leeds will be especially keen to extend the season-long loans of White and Harrison, who have remarkably both started all 37 of their Championship matches this campaign.
Leeds yesterday became the most high-profile English club to announce that their players and coaches would take a wage deferral to slash costs while no matches are being played.