By Wayne Veysey

17th Dec, 2020 | 6:00pm

Exclusive: Leeds tell senior defender to find a new club in January

Leeds United have told Conor Shaughnessy he is free to find a new club in January, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The defender, 24, is surplus to requirements at Elland Road and does not figure in Marcelo Bielsa’s plans.

A Leeds source has told Football Insider that the club will listen to permanent and loan offers for Shaughnessy in the upcoming window.

The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international had been expected to leave Elland Road in the last window that shut in mid-October.

However, negotiations over a move to an EFL club, including a permanent switch to former loan club Burton Albion, collapsed.

Shaughnessy has stayed on at Leeds but he has not made a single matchday squad this season despite a series of centre-back injuries.

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Senior trio Robin Koch, Diego Llorente and Gaetano Berardi are all sidelined with long or medium-term injuries.

But Bielsa has instead re-deployed his other senior players rather than turn back to Shaughnessy, who was once high enough rated to be handed a four-year contract in the autumn of 2017.

The Irishman has made 15 appearances in total for the Yorkshire giants but has made just a single appearance under Bielsa, in the EFL Cup in August 2018.

He was omitted from their Premier League squad announced in October as Bielsa opted to name only 18 senior players.

Shaughnessy spent the first half of last season on loan at Mansfield Town in League Two and the second half at Burton Albion in League One, and was a regular for both teams.

In other news, Leeds United 18-year-old backed for first XI debut after shock Bielsa reveal.