Revealed: Leeds favourite plots long-term deal amid fears he will be let go
Gaetano Berardi is keen to commit to a long-term Leeds United deal as he sweats on his future at the club, Football Insider understands.
The defender, 31, has just six weeks remaining on his current contract and can leave on a free transfer on 1 July.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Berardi wants to finish his career at Elland Road and is keen to test himself in the Premier League if the team gets promoted.
The one-time Switzerland international turns 32 in August but does not see that as a barrier to a long-term deal.
Berardi has seen Liam Cooper sign an agreement that runs until the summer of 2024, by which time he will be nearly 33, while Stuart Dallas has a contract that expires in 2023, when he will also have turned 32.
Leeds have demonstrated during the Andrea Radrizzani era that age is no barrier, with Pablo Hernandez also contracted until he is 37.
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Unlike that trio, Berardi is not a regular member of the starting line-up.
Nevertheless, he has been a key member of the squad during Marcelo Bielsa’s two seasons in charge, operating as the third choice centre-back, and is a big favourite of supporters due to his committed playing style.
He has made 11 league starts among 20 appearances this season, mostly as a replacement for Cooper when he’s been injured.
Berardi is expected to agree a short-term extension to his deal after Premier League clubs voted last week to allow out-of-contract players to sign until the season finishes.
The governing body announced that “players can extend their contracts beyond June 30 until the end of the season, but it must be agreed by both parties”. It is a policy likely to be adopted by the EFL.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are tipped to sign Premier League star after price tag tumbles.