Leeds United may already have a new left-back signing lined up as they prepare to wave goodbye to Ezgjan Alioski and Barry Douglas, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Whites would have their sights set on a “quality” left-back for next season.
Football Insider revealed earlier this week Alioski has agreed pre-contract terms with Galatasaray ahead of the summer.
The Macedonia international has played 27 of a possible 29 appearances in the Premier League this term.
He has shared left-back duties with Stuart Dallas, although the Northern Ireland international has also featured regularly in midfield.
Leeds allowed natural left-back Barry Douglas to join Blackburn Rovers on loan last year, and, as revealed by Football Insider, he will be allowed to leave for good when his contract comes to an end this summer.
With Dallas set to be the only recognised left-back option, Whelan suggested Leeds may already have a transfer target lined up to allow Alioski to leave.
Asked if he thought Alioski’s agreement could mean Leeds have a new signing lined up, Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Yes. I didn’t think he was going to be staying anyway.
“Whether they put an offer on the table or not, he was going to be third, fourth choice from next season. We’re definitely going out there to get a natural left-back, there’s no doubt about that.
“We can’t keep putting round pegs in square holes in that position because it’s vitally important. We know how we use the wing-backs to get forward, with Kalvin Phillips giving us that security.
“That’s one side I felt that the club had to go forward with. They need a real quality, left wing-back on board. Someone to compliment defenders that we’ve already brought in. Also, the other players that we’re going to look to bring in.
“I don’t think it’d be a waste of money keeping him but there’s no friends in football. Sentiment goes out the window.
“He’s surplus to requirements next season because we need a better player in that position.”