By Harry Sykes
Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has told BBC Radio Leeds that clubs will have to pay around £4million to sign Charlie Taylor this summer.
The defender, 23, is out of contract next month and almost certain to leave Elland Road after refusing to play for the club in the final game of the season on Sunday, a 1-1 draw at relegated Wigan.
Baggies manager Tony Pulis went public last week with his interest in signing Taylor although he insisted it would be a “difficult” deal due to the likelihood that the fee would be decided by a tribunal.
Leeds will be entitled to a seven-figure compensation sum for Taylor due to the fact he was developed by their academy and is under the age of 24.
BBC pundit Whelan was highly critical of Taylor for telling manager Garry Monk he would not play on Sunday after originally being selected for the starting XI but recognises he remains a valuable asset for Leeds.
“It’s a sad way to end at a club that have given him so much,” Whelan told BBC Radio Leeds in the immediate aftermath of the match.
“We’ll see if he has enough to stay in the Premier League – he’s out of contract, so you can’t bargain.
“I think you’re looking at about £4million for him.”
Monk was furious with Taylor for downing tools on Sunday and the player will fined by the club for breach of contract.
It means Leeds’ 2015-16 player of the year, who joined the club’s academy at the age of nine, will leave when his current three-year deal expires next month on a sour note.
His conduct sent supporters into a tailspin on social media on Sunday as they were angered at his lack of respect for one of English football’s most storied clubs.
In other Leeds United transfer news, it can be exclusively revealed that the club registered a new signing last month.