This article is part of Football League World’s ‘What does the future hold?’ series, this content strand is where we evaluate and subjectively debate a player’s future at their current club…
As well as lots of questions being raised about how and when the current football season will end, there are also questions about what happens to those players who are out of contract in June.
With the postponement of all professional footballing activity until at least 30th April, some have been left wondering what happens to those players who are on-loan at clubs or whose contracts are set to expire in June.
One player that will be raising such questions is Leeds United’s Gaetano Berardi, whose contract is due to expire on 30th June.
The 31-year-old joined United back in 2014 and up until the postponement of fixtures had made a total of 150 appearances for the Whites scoring two goals.
Whilst Berardi on occasions has divided fans over his hot temper and the knack of receiving red cards, the Swiss has, in turn, become some kind of cult hero at LS11.
Some fans have argued that his passion and commitment to Leeds have epitomised what the club is all about – ‘Side before self, every time’, and whilst he isn’t the most regular of starters he has proved to be a more than an adequate deputy.
As recently as February, Football Insider reported that Leeds has stalled on offering Berardi a new contract, despite the Swiss reportedly keen on exploring the opportunity of extending his stay at Elland Road.
Should the current season resume and Leeds do go to win promotion to the Premier League, defenders will most likely be one of their most sought after positions when it comes to the transfer window.
On loan sensation, Ben White will be set to return to parent-club Brighton & Hove Albion and with Berardi’s future still up in the air, Leeds are faced with the prospect of having just one first-team centre-back in the squad.
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Should this end up being the case, the club could opt to offer Berardi a small contract extension in order to bolster their defensive ranks going into the 2020-2021 season.
From Berardi’s point of view, however, at 31, he may look to join another club with more guarantees of regular first-team football, and as per Football Insider’s report could opt to sign a pre-contract somewhere overseas.
Should Berardi opt to remain at Leeds United there will be concerns from the player that he won’t be used regularly, and should Leeds do go up to be even less involved than the 17 league appearances so far this term.
More details will hopefully come to light in the coming weeks, but whatever the outcome of the 2019-2020 season, Gaetano Berardi will have a big decision to make on where he will be playing his football next season.
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