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Adam Clayton once claimed reported Leeds target is one of the best in the Championship

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Leeds United

Adam Clayton once claimed reported Leeds target is one of the best in the Championship

Leeds United are reportedly interested in luring Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala to Elland Road this summer as the Spaniard’s contract looks set to expire in June – and former Whites star Adam Clayton is seemingly a big fan of the defender.

The Northern Echo recently reported that the Whites are monitoring 29-year-old Spanish defender Ayala, while The Star has claimed that the former Liverpool defender will leave Middlesbrough this summer when his contract ends.

Ayala, who has clocked up a whopping 216 appearances in the Championship and has found the back of the net 22 times, is believed to be the ball-playing type of defender that Marcelo Bielsa favours – and was linked in January.


Certainly, former Leeds midfielder Clayton is a big fan of Ayala and claimed back in 2015 that the Spain Under-21 international is one of the best defenders at Championship level – describing him as “unbelievable”.

(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

“Dan has been unbelievable,” Clayton said in 2015, during an interview with the Gazette. “When Dan wasn’t in the team for that two-month period we weren’t as good, he makes us a better team and he knows that.

“People make mistakes and it’s just the way it is, but we’ll get around Dan, he’s a top lad and he’ll be fine next season. He’s one of, if not the best centre half in the league.”

Leeds certainly need a central defender this summer with Ben White still only on loan at Elland Road, while Gaetano Berardi is in a similar boat to Ayala at the Riverside – in that his contract is due to expire at the end of the season.

Even if White is signed permanently, which is a possibility, another central defender as cover for the Brighton ace and skipper Liam Cooper would be excellent business. Certainly, if Clayton’s comments are anything to go by, Ayala must be signed.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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