Noel Whelan believes Marcelo Bielsa could let Ezgjan Alioski leave Leeds United at the end of the season.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, believes the Whites would want the 28-year-old to stay on board but suggested they would also be happy to let him leave if a contract agreement cannot be struck.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, as quoted by Phil Hay, Marcelo Bielsa insisted the ball was in Alioski’s court when it came to signing a new deal.
Bielsa was asked about Alioski's future. Speculation about rival interest in him this week, although Leeds still talking to him about a new deal.
"Most important is that he wants to stay. I think that if Alioski chooses Leeds, Leeds will choose Alioski." #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) January 29, 2021
The versatile left-footer has just six months left on his current terms at Elland Road and has been linked with a move away from Yorkshire this month.
Whelan believes that the decision will ultimately lie with Alioski as to whether he stays past the end of the season but suggested the club would not fight too hard to convince him to pen a new deal.
Whelan told Football Insider: “I think it comes down to the player – if the player wants to stay, okay. He probably loves the club you, can see that and they probably want to sign him, but would he be your first-choice winger next year? No.
“Would he be your first left wing-back choice next year. No. So, maybe, maybe the club are thinking is it worth letting him go as well? As much as he’s been a great servant to the club, is he really going to be your main starter next year?
“We’ve seen his defensive frailties, we saw it again against Newcastle, hence why you take him off and you put Dallas down there. So, in my opinion, I think there is a question mark over whether he will be at the club next season.”
Alioski has played 19 times across all competitions this season, with three goals under his belt.
He started just twice in Leeds’ opening seven Premier League games of the campaign but has since been in the starting XI for 12 successive top-flight matches.