Sources: Leeds stall contract talks of player starting v Preston amid doubts

Leeds United have no immediate plans to offer Gaetano Berardi a new deal, Football Insider understands.

The Switzerland international, 31, will be a free agent at the end of the season and is able to agree a pre-contract with an overseas club from January.

A Leeds source has told Football Insider that the club will adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to the future of the versatile defender amid doubts over whether to extend his agreement.

The Championship giants will put talks on hold over a new deal while they wait to see how the campaign pans out.

Much will depend on Berardi’s form and his involvement in the team, as well as whether Leeds are playing in the Premier League or the second tier next season.

Marcelo Bielsa is a big admirer of the Swiss, who is a cult hero among supporters for his heart-on-the-sleeve commitment and aggressive playing style.

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The Leeds manager spurned the opportunity to bring in additional centre-back cover in the summer window following the shock sale of Pontus Jansson to Brentford.

United signed Ben White on loan from Brighton to be skipper Liam Cooper’s regular central defensive partner, with Berardi as the third choice.

He has made eight appearances this season, including consecutive league starts while Cooper is currently out injured.

Bielsa revealed at his media conference today that he will select an unchanged side for tomorrow’s Championship clash against Preston North End at Deepdale.

That will mean Berardi keeping his place in defence alongside White.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club have suffered a major new injury blow to star player.