By Wayne Veysey

12th Jun, 2020 | 10:00am

Exclusive: Major new development in Leeds bid to sign centre-back

Leeds United target Daniel Ayala has been offered a new long-term contract by Middlesbrough, Football Insider can reveal.

This site revealed yesterday that the Yorkshire giants have made the defender, 29, one of their top targets in the next window as they look to sign a new centre-back.

Boro are vulnerable to losing their long-serving Spaniard as he is out of contract this summer.

A source at the north-east club has told Football Insider that the club have demonstrated their willingness to keep hold of him by offering a new deal.

Ayala has yet to accept it and given hope to Leeds that he can be lured to Elland Road regardless of whether they get promoted.

The Championship leaders will resume their campaign this month seven points clear of third place with nine matches remaining and well placed to go up automatically.

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Leeds director of football Victor Orta knows Ayala well from when he held the same post at Boro when they were in the Premier League.

He has already spoken to the player about the possibility of a move to west Yorkshire.

Leeds are in the market for at least one senior centre-back in the next window, and possibly two.

They facing losing Ben White when he completes his season-long loan from Brighton, while long-serving Gaetano Berardi s out of contract this summer.

Ayala has made 23 Championship starts among 25 appearances for Middlesbrough this season but has not played since New Year’s Day due to an ankle injury.

He is back in training but Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate has stated it would be unrealistic to expect him to play all nine remaining league matches after such a long lay-off.

In other Leeds United news, a Whites senior player is set to be at a club down south next season after buying a new house.