'We welcome him with open arms' - Christiansen makes Leeds transfer U-turn confession
By Richard Parks
Thomas Christiansen has confessed that Andy Lonergan made a last-minute transfer U-turn just when he was on the verge of quitting Leeds United for Sunderland.
Speaking at his media briefing on Friday, as quoted by the personal Twitter account of BBC Radio Leeds journalist Adam Pope, Christiansen admitted that the goalkeeper, 34, was close to leaving amid widespread speculation he headed to Sunderland on Tuesday night to undergo a medical.
Reports suggested that the deal collapsed because Lonergan rejected the contract offered by the Championship relegation strugglers.
Christiansen has now admitted that the number two to first choice Felix Wiedwald was close to permanently quitting but made a U-turn late in the day.
“Finally he decided he wanted to stay here with us and not Sunderland. We welcome him with open arms,” said Christiansen, as quoted by Pope on Twitter
TC on Lonergan: “Finally he decided he wanted to stay here with us and not Sunderland. We welcome him with open arms.” #lufc
— Adam Pope (@APOPEY) February 2, 2018
Lonergan has made nine appearances for Leeds since joining on a free transfer from Wolves last summer.
But he has not played since November after Wiedwald reclaimed the number one jersey that he had been handed when he signed from Werder Bremen.
Wiedwald is expected to continue in goal when Leeds face Cardiff City at Elland Road tomorrow (Saturday).
Football Insider broke the news a fortnight ago that United were in advanced talks to sign Adam Forshaw from Middlesbrough before any other media, and 48 hours before the transfer was announced.
Football Insider also revealed first that Leeds had agreed a deal to sign striker Sam Dalby from Leyton Orient, with the player then unveiled on Tuesday of last week, and that they were in advanced talks to sign Jordan Stevens on deadline day.
In other Leeds United transfer news, it can be revealed that a centre-forward who has player for the team this season has had his contract terminated.