Three reasons why Leeds should join reported race to sign Newcastle 25-year-old
COMMENT By Will Butcher
Leeds could solve their centre-back problem area with the signing of Newcastle defender Grant Hanley this summer.
Here, Football Insider considers three reasons why Garry Monk should throw his hat into the ring to sign the Scotland international.
Kyle Bartley future
The Swansea defender spent the entire 2016-17 season on loan at Elland Road, starring in a side that went within a whisker of clinching a place in the Championship play-offs. However, the former Birmingham and Rangers ace has now returned to his parent club with a permanent deal yet to be announced for the 25-year-old stopper. It remains to be seen if the former Arsenal youth player will move permanently to Elland Road, leaving the Whites with only Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper at centre back. Bringing in Hanley would solve this lack of depth at the heart of Leeds’ defence, and would provide the needed quality to help push the Yorkshire giants towards promotion.
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During his time with Blackburn and Newcastle, the 27-time international has made a huge 162 appearances in England’s second tier and that experience could prove crucial in helping Leeds climb towards the top of the Championship next season. Monk will be looking to add players who know what it takes to be successful in the division in order to boost a promotion push, and with Hanley’s knowledge of the Championship he could be the man to shut the door on opposing attackers.
Leeds are not renowned for their resources. Monk is likely to be given money by Andrea Radrizzani ahead of the summer window to spend, but he must be careful to use it in the best way possible and save it for areas in which is it required the most. Newcastle currently have four central defenders available to them, in Jamaal Lascelles, Chancel Mbemba, Ciaran Clark and Hanley. With Rafa Benitez likely to add to his side in all areas, Hanley will be made surplus to requirements and could be allowed to leave the club in a cut-price deal – much smaller than the £5million fee it cost the Magpies to sign him at the start of the 2016-17 season.
In other Leeds transfer news, this League One club are eyeing a move for an out-of-favour striker.