Marcelo Bielsa is likely to scour the transfer market for a centre-back this summer, with Leeds United only having two defenders who regularly featured last season – Pontus Janssen and Liam Cooper.
Gaetano Berardi spent the majority of 2018/19 sidelined with injury and Aapo Halme was on the fringes of the first-team while Conor Shaughnessy and Paudie O’Connor were on loan at Heart of Midlothian and Blackpool/Bradford City respectively.
At least one central defender could be coming in the opposite direction this summer, and Leeds may have the opportunity to sign a Premier League powerhouse to boost their promotion hopes next season.
Phil Jagielka will officially leave Everton when his contract at Goodison Park expires on June 30. The 36-year-old made 385 appearances in all competitions for the Toffees, scoring and creating 30 goals, and appears open to prolonging his career at least for another season.
The £50k-per-week defender has played in 360 Premier League games, achieved promotion to the top-flight with Sheffield United and has captained the seventh-biggest side in the Premier League. Leeds couldn’t dream of signing a better player for their specific objective, but it’s unknown if Bielsa is considering a move.
Jagielka isn’t getting any younger, but his man-of-the-match display against Arsenal in April should prove that he’s still got what it takes. Celtic are reportedly keen on the England international’s signature and may not be the only side interested this summer.
Stats from Transfermarkt.