Noel Whelan has hailed Fabian Delph as “exceptional” but claimed his £80,000-a-week wages would be better off spent by Leeds United on “four or five different players”.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Leeds-supporting ex striker does not rate the club’s chances of persuading Delph to re-sign this summer.
The Sun reported that United have “showed an initial interest” in capturing the 29-year-old as he prepares to leave Manchester City this summer.
It is said City will demand £15million for the Elland Road academy product, who has a year remaining on his £80,000-a-week deal at Etihad Stadium.
“There is a tight wage structure at Leeds and Fabian Delph’s salary doesn’t fit into it,” Whelan told Football Insider. “80,000-a-week would get us four or five different players, we can’t give it all to one players. It’s very unlikely to happen.
“I loved Fabian Delph when he was at Leeds and I’m not surprised at all by what he has achieved in the game. You could see he would be a top player in the game when he was a boy.
“I was doing my coaching badges at Leeds and we once played in a coaches v young players game. We couldn’t get near Delph, he was that good. He ran the show. He was also a lovely lad and very grounded and down to earth.
“He is an exceptional player and I would love to have him back at Leeds, don’t get me wrong. But we can’t afford him and we can’t afford his wages.”
Delph made 58 appearances for Leeds before quitting for Aston Villa when they were in the Premier League and going on to make 134 appearances for the Midlands giants.
He joined City for £8million in 2015 and has played 89 matches in four seasons, including at left-back as well as his favoured central midfield role.
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