Kevin Phillips has backed Gaetano Berardi to pen a new deal at Leeds United, even if he gets offered more playing time at another club.
Berardi has been a popular figure at Leeds since arriving from Sampdoria in 2014, making over 150 appearances for the club and establishing himself as a real fans’ favourite at Elland Road.
The 31-year-old’s game time has been limited this season, though, due to the exceptional form of Liam Cooper and Ben White, with the Swiss defender having featured only 17 times in the league.
Now, with the EFL set to return on the 20th of June, Berardi is entering the final month of his contract at Leeds meaning that there is a decision to be made on his future.
The Athletic claims that both Marcelo Bielsa and the club want to extend the defender’s stay at Elland Road beyond this season, as Leeds remain on the verge of automatic promotion.
Speaking to Football Insider, Kevin Phillips has tipped Berardi to secure fresh terms with United due to his connections with the club and the prospect of playing in the Premier League.
He said: “He has been at the club a while and I would want to play in the Premier League with them.
“It is a difficult one. I had a similar situation when I left West Brom for Birmingham. They offered me the two-year contract which I was looking for.
“He might have the promise of more game time at another club but you want to be in the Premier League. Especially if you had been at Leeds for a long time.
“If the offer suits him and there is the opportunity to play in the Premier League I am sure he will opt for that.”
Leeds sit top of the Sky Bet Championship table and sit seven points clear of Fulham in third place, with nine games left to play this term.
It would be a smart choice by Leeds to extend Berardi’s contract at Elland Road.
He may not get into the team ahead of Liam Cooper and Ben White (if he stays), but you need his type of character around the club if you want to secure top-flight status.
He loves the club and wears his heart on his sleeve.