Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has blamed the club’s owner Andrea Radrizzani for the uncertainty surrounding Kemar Roofe’s future at the club.
Roofe scored 15 goals for the Whites last season, despite being hampered by injury, and it appears he has caught the attention of a number of top-flight sides.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan criticised Radrizzani over the awkward position Leeds now find themselves in due to Roofe’s expiring contract.
He said: “You don’t let your top scorer for the last two seasons run his contract down to the final year.
“That needs looking at from Leeds. The way the club deal with contracts for players has to be changed.
“Leeds have left themselves unprotected with Roofe. The owner has to take the blame for this. Whoever deals with contracts on the board has to take responsibility.
“Roofe is probably worth £8-10 million, but because he has only a year left on his contract, his value has dropped to £5 million. That’s absolutely nothing these days.
“That’s a drop in the ocean for Premier League clubs and even big Championship ones. Leeds should have agreed a new contract with Roofe by last Christmas at the latest.”
Whelan is right, it is a mistake on the club’s part that they have let Roofe’s contract run down to just one year.
He is an important player for the Whites and has been their leading scorer across the two previous seasons, with 29 goals.
Losing Roofe this close to the new season would be a huge blow but if he does not extend his deal this summer they run the risk of seeing him walk away for nothing next year.
Director of football Victor Orta has suggested he is confident the forward will be part of Bielsa’s squad for the upcoming season, however, this speculation is something that could’ve been avoided if Radrizzani and the club had been more proactive in negotiations with Roofe.
Leeds will be targeting winning the Championship this season and expectation will be high at the club, so this seems like a situation they could have done without.