Middlesbrough central defender Daniel Ayala is still being closely monitored by Leeds United ahead of the summer transfer window, according to the Northern Echo.
The Whites have been interested in signing the Spanish defender previously, with the ex-Middlesbrough director of football, Victor Orta, now pulling the transfer strings at Elland Road.
The 29-year-old is out of contract in the summer and it would seem as though Ayala will need to take a pay cut to stay at the Riverside Stadium.
With Leeds sniffing around, however, that might not be something the centre-back is willing to consider.
Ayala is a vastly experienced defender and has been at Middlesbrough since 2013, joining from Norwich City.
He has Championship experience with Boro, Nottingham Forest, Hull City and Derby County, whilst he’s also played 26 times in the Premier League.
Regardless of the division Leeds are playing in next season, they will certainly need to target a centre-back or two.
Ben White, so brilliant during 2019/20, will almost certainly return to Brighton. That would leave Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi as the only senior central defenders at the club.
Ayala would complement the squad nicely and at 29 he is still at a nice age for a central defender.
On a free transfer, he could prove to be a shrewd piece of business and it’ll be interesting to see if Orta does return to his former club to land the defender.
The one-cap under-21 international is strong, good in the air and is also capable of playing out from the back.
He might not have the star potential of White and Leeds might well target another centre-back too.
Ayala would be a proven performer, however, and the Whites could certainly attract a lot worse in the summer.