By support

4th Sep, 2016 | 1:45pm

Report: Leeds could look to 2014 World Cup star for Bamba replacement

By Will Butcher

Leeds could look to re-enter the market for Algeria international Essaid Belkalem, according to a report.

The 27-year-old is now available as a free agent after terminating his contract with Premier League side Watford.

Algerian outlet La Gazette du Funnec claims that Leeds have tried to sign the defender in the past, and the club could look to bring him in as defensive cover after he turned down a move to Romanian giants Dinamo Bucharest.

Leeds are in desperate need of a centre-back, after allowing captain Sol Bamba to leave Elland Road due to personal reasons.

Belkalem has made just 92 appearances in all competitions despite making his professional debut eight years ago for Algerian outfit JS Kabylie, but possesses Championship experience from his time with Watford where he made ten appearances.

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The Algeria international made his name for the national side during the 2014 World Cup, as Algeria reached the round of 16 for the first time in their footballing history. Belkalem played against South Korea, Russia and Germany.

Leeds could look to use the free agent market following Bamba’s decision to leave, as manager Garry Monk has just three central defenders available to him.

Liam Cooper remains as the former Swansea boss’ only permanent defender, with no promises made over the futures of loanees Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson.

In other Leeds transfer news, these three free agents could also be looked at by Monk to fill the void left by Bamba.