By Alan Hutton

24th Jul, 2020 | 10:00am

'Cruel' - Exclusive: Pundit reacts to big twist after Phil Hay details Leeds contract plan

Alan Hutton has urged Leeds United to hand Gaetano Berardi a new contract despite the defender suffering a serious injury blow.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aston Villa full-back insists it would be “ruthless” for the club not to keep the 31-year-old on board after all he has done at Elland Road.

The Athletic’s Phil Hay reports that the Whites planned on offering the defender a new deal at the end of the season, with his current terms set to expire in the coming weeks.

However, it has been confirmed the Swiss international suffered an ACL tear in the win over Derby County and could face as long as nine months on the sidelines.

Despite the setback, Hutton insists that the club should follow through with their plans and show faith in the utility man.

Asked if Leeds should still hand Berardi a new deal, Hutton told Football Insider: “I think so. I’ve seen it on numerous occasions where people have been injured and they’re coming to the end of their contract.

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“I think for you giving your all to the team it’s only fair you get it back also, to give them that opportunity. It depends on how they’re going to spend in the summer – football can be a ruthless business.

“That’s the flip-side to it, they could say: ‘We’re not going to go down that path, we’re going to bring someone else in,’ which would obviously be devastating for the boy but I think it would be a nice gesture to keep him for at least another season to then go and prove himself.”

Berardi, who is Leeds’ current longest-serving player, has featured 155 times across all competitions for the Whites.

He acted primarily as backup for Liam Cooper and Ben White this season but still managed to play 25 games across all competitions.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that club are set to open talks over new £100k-a-week deal.

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