COMMENT By Richard Parks
As the inquest begins into the latest Leeds United meltdown, the unavoidable conclusion is that supporters are going to get their hearts broken all over again.
United showed they are a selling club, whoever is the owner making the final decision, when they cashed in on 2016-17 Championship top scorer Chris Wood for a fee of around £15million last August.
It is surely inevitable that current prize assets Pontus Jansson and Samuel Saiz will also head off before the summer window is out as Leeds pay the price for a campaign that is likely to peter out with a mid-table finish following the 3-0 shellacking at Middlesbrough last night (Friday).
Neither player has had a season as consistently excellent as Wood did under Garry Monk, and centre-forwards are generally in higher demand.
Despite their average displays at the Riverside, Jansson and Saiz are the few beacons of light in what 35 Championship matches have demonstrated is a pretty mediocre squad, whatever Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta may think to the contrary.
Sweden international Jansson, 27, is a commanding centre-back who is one of the best of his type in the English second tier and is surely destined for the Premier League.
Real Madrid academy product Saiz, 27, is the most gifted player in Leeds’ squad and a player whose game is decorated with genuine quality.
Both are on long-term contracts and could command £10million-plus fees if they have decent finishes to the season.
It is increasingly difficult to see any other outcome than, for what Leeds fans, would be painful summer exits.
In other Leeds United transfer news, the club have agreed the terms of an £8.5million deal, with the first payment scheduled for the summer.