By Noel Whelan

3rd Jun, 2019 | 12:00pm

'Leeds will be looking at him' - Whelan urges Bielsa to sign 'Perfect' newly-available defender

Noel Whelan has told Football Insider how Leeds United must take advantage of Tommy Elphick’s availability to sign him this summer.

The centre-back was released by Aston Villa last week, with his contract due to expire this month, after they sealed promotion to the Premier League.

Ex-Leeds striker Whelan believes the defender’s pedigree and experience in the Championship are precisely the qualities Marcelo Bielsa’s side need as they aim to go one better and finish in the top two next season.

“Leeds will be looking at him,” Whelan told Football Insider. “I would be if I was in charge, absolutely. Leeds have looked at him before and he’d still be perfect for us.

“He’s a proper defender, aggressive, good in the air, commanding, a good player. You need players with Championship experience who know the league and we need a new centre-back, even if Pontus Jansson stays.

“He could be a great free signing and a great signing for next season.”

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Elphick joined Villa for £4million in 2016 after extensive spells at Bournemouth and Brighton.

He spent the first half of the 2018-19 season on loan at Hull City but was recalled by Villa at the midway point due to injuries at the back and made 10 consecutive starts between January and March before a fractured ankle sustained during a 4-0 win over Derby marked his final appearance for the club.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a Whites ace is quitting after agreeing a £13,000-a-week contract with a new club.