Leeds United won’t seek a “bargain bucket replacement” for Ezgjan Alioski and his free transfer exit will therefore hit the club’s budget hard.

That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after this site revealed on Tuesday the 29-year-old has agreed a pre-contract with Galatasaray.

The 39-time North Macedonia international joined from Swiss side Lugano in 2017 for an undisclosed fee and has made 162 appearances in Leeds colours.

Alioski had become a terrace favourite at Elland Road and so to see him leave to a rival in Galatasaray will sting.

Maguire explained that there will be more “frustration” on Leeds’ part as they have lost an asset for free and the balance sheet will take a hit as a result.

“It will hurt them in the books,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

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“He’s a good squad player at the very least. Will Leeds be able to replace him for nothing? That could be a challenge. The net cost to the club will be worse off as a result of this.

“Leeds are an ambitious club. They aren’t going to be seeking bargain bucket replacements. You’re not going to get much change from whoever you bring in.

“Could someone else come through the academy? Their academy has been very good recently.

“But I think there is frustration from the club. That’s football these days.”

This site revealed on Tuesday that Galatasaray had offered a contract to fellow left-back Patrick Van Aanholt, who is also a free agent in the summer.

Leeds also have an interest in signing the Crystal Palace defender, as per the Daily Mirror.

In other news, top pundit tips Mateusz Bogusz join a Championship club after Leeds United youngster drops exit hint.