The Athletic’s Phil Hay has poured cold water on reports that Leeds United are interested in signing Middlesbrough centre-back Daniel Ayala in the summer.
Leeds are well set to return the Premier League for the first time in 16 years when the 2019/20 concludes – sitting top of the Championship with nine games left to play.
Their promotion push has been put on hold as all EFL fixtures have been suspended until the 30th of April due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With no football being played, the Whites may be looking ahead to the upcoming transfer window and strategising about how they can improve their side.
According to the Daily Star, Leeds are keen to sign Ayala, who will be a free agent in the summer, irrelevant of whether they’re promoted to the Premier League.
The central defender’s contract is set to expire at the Riverside at the end of the 2019/20 campaign and it has been reported he is on the Whites hit list of potential summer recruits.
However, in a Q&A for The Athletic, Hay has poured cold water on the suggestion and revealed he was told by people at the club in January that they were not interested.
He explained: “He was linked in January. When I asked people at the club then, they said no. Does he fit into the mould of centre-backs Bielsa likes? I wouldn’t have said so. Would be a strange one. But he will be available on a free.”
Think you know Leeds? Take our quiz to test yourself!
Hay is a trusted source on Leeds, so it is interesting to get his stance on the report linking Ayala to the Whites.
It’s hard to disagree with him, the 29-year-old doesn’t seem like a classic Marcelo Bielsa signing, however, the interest from the Whites may not be driven by the Argentine coach.
The defender does have an awful lot of experience and has featured in both the Championship and Premier League, so you feel he could be a decen addition if he gets the all-clear from Bielsa.