Exclusive: Leeds ready to offload regular starter after major reveal
Leeds United are ready to offload defender Gaetano Berardi at the end of the season after he failed to land a new contract in their programme of renewals, Football Insider has learned.
The Switzerland international, 31, is a key member of Marcelo Bielsa’s squad and has started five of the last 10 Championship matches and came on as a late substitute for Kalvin Phillips in the weekend demolition of Middlesbrough.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that the club have no plans to offer Berardi a new deal to replace his current agreement, which expires next June.
That is only likely to change if United fail in their bid to secure promotion in a campaign that is shaping up excellently amid a run of five consecutive wins.
Bielsa’s team are top of the table after 19 matches, with a haul of 40 points, are are well placed to finish in the top two and clinch automatic Premier League football next season.
Berardi has been the third centre-back at Elland Road for each of Bielsa’s two campaigns after being converted from a full-back, where he has played most of his career.
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His versatility, durability and competitiveness are highly regarded by the manager but he is not seen as one of those capable of being a force in the Premier League.
Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear revealed in his programme notes for Saturday’s match, as cited by the Yorkshire Evening Post, that “the international break gave us the opportunity to complete our programme of contract renewals” as Pablo Hernandez followed Mateusz Klich, Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper, Stuart Dallas, Leif Davis and Kalvin Phillips in penning a new contract.
Berardi has made 13 appearances in all competitions for Leeds this season, and 143 in total for the club since signing from Sampdoria in 2014.
In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can reveal a major NEW Eddie Nketiah transfer development from today.