Garry Monk responds to reported Leeds pursuit of player who spent eight years at Arsenal
By Tom Blackburn
Garry Monk refused to confirm Leeds are close to signing Luke Ayling but admitted the club were working to sign “a number of targets”.
Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Phil Hay claimed via Twitter on Wednesday evening that Leeds are closing in on a three-year deal for Bristol City defender Ayling.
Speaking in a press conference on Thursday morning the day after Leeds’ EFL Cup penalty shoot-out win over Fleetwood, Monk claimed that there are a few options but refused to specifically comment on Ayling.
“We are looking at a few options,” said Monk, as quoted by Radio Yorkshire journalist Joe Rawson on Twitter. “We are working hard on a number of targets.”
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Rawson, a reliable source of Leeds transfer news, also claimed that the deal for Ayling should be done later on Thursday.
Ayling, 24, plays on the right hand side of a three man defence at Bristol and can also play at either centre-back or right-back.
He was a key member of the Bristol squad last season, playing 36 times across all competitions for the club.
The defender is now into the final year of his contract, so the club could be willing to let him go.
Ayling, who joined the Arsenal academy as a 10-year-old and spent eight years at the club before leaving in 2010, has been at Bristol for two seasons since joining for an undisclosed fee from Yeovil.
Garry Monk has been in the market for a new centre-back during the transfer window as they currently have just three senior players in that position, Sol Bamba, Liam Cooper and on-loan Kyle Bartley.
Bamba and Bartley partnered each other in central defence in Sunday’s 3-0 Championship defeat to QPR, while Cooper came in for Bamba for the Fleetwood clash.
In other Leeds transfer news, they have clinched a loan deal for an attacker and the player has already arrived at the club.