By Noel Whelan

9th Jul, 2019 | 7:00pm

'Leeds will be talking to him' - Whelan claims Bielsa plotting newly-available defender swoop


Noel Whelan has claimed Ashley Williams would be an “ideal” signing for Leeds United this summer as they look to fill the defensive gap left by Pontus Jansson’s sale.

The centre-back, 34, was released by Everton at the end of last month and is weighing up his future as he looks for a new club ahead of the season.

Williams revealed last week he has offers on the table from clubs “all over the world”, including in the United States and the Middle East, but would prefer to stay in England.

Whelan is convinced the defender’s pedigree and experience could more than make up for the departure yesterday to Brenford of Jansson, who became the third Leeds centre-back to leave in a week along with youngsters Aapo Halme and Liam Kitching.

“Leeds have to go into the market now,” Whelan told Football Insider. “We are three centre-backs short and have only brought one in, Ben White.

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“Ashley Williams has been released. I think Leeds will be talking to him and seeing if a deal is possible. He is still in the Wales team, he’s a leader, commanding figure, excellent experience, he’s just played a season in the Championship.

“He could be ideal if the wages could be sorted out. It looks like he wants to stay in England. Leeds should be looking very seriously at him. Maybe it’s one they could do.”

Williams is a free agent after spending the last three years at Everton, where he moved in 2016 after proving himself in the Premier League during a lengthy spell at Swansea City.

He spent last season on loan at Stoke City, making 27 league starts among 37 appearances in aall competitions.

In the latest Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a £6million-valued Elland Road attacker has been given just a few days to find a new club.