Leeds United only have one contract issue to worry about addressing this summer should the season continue beyond June, with Gaetano Berardi’s deal at Elland Road running into its final months.
As recently reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Berardi is set to leave this year as things stand.
And given how proactive Leeds have been with contracts under Andrea Radrizzani, it arguably looks concerning for fans of the Swiss that such a large question mark continues to hang over his future.
And based on some of the latest reports concerning Leeds’s transfer plans, it may be fair to suggest that the situation may look ominous for the cult-hero if he is keen to stay beyond this season.
The Northern Echo have reported that Leeds are looking at Daniel Ayala, who could himself become a free agent this summer with his Middlesbrough contract expiring.
Ayala is an intriguing target for the Whites. He has been an excellent performer in the Championship, and he is seemingly set to be available on a free transfer.
However, he has not played since New Year’s Day due to injury. And Leeds stand a fantastic chance of plying their trade in the Premier League next term.
It is therefore, difficult to see Ayala coming in as anything more than a backup option should Leeds secure promotion.
And given that Bielsa clearly prefers working with a smaller squad, it becomes harder to see a role in the team for Berardi if Ayala comes in.
Leeds have several exciting young centre-backs in their ranks. Pascal Struijk and Oliver Casey have both made their debuts this term. Meanwhile, Charlie Cresswell is amongst those who will surely follow the pair into the first-team fold at some stage.
Berardi has arguably done enough to prove that he deserves a new contract. He has been excellent this term when called upon.
And, in Ayala, Leeds may simply be covering all bases if Berardi decides against signing fresh terms.
But it currently seems difficult to imagine that both men could end up on Leeds’s books next term.