Leeds United have been credited with an active pursuit of former loanee Kyle Bartley. However, the Daily Record say that a pursuit for the Swansea defender might fall down on one front – wages.
Kyle Bartley was a dominant defender whilst on loan at Elland Road for the duration of the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship campaign. He was brought to West Yorkshire by former Whites head coach Garry Monk, with Leeds fans not initially happy at the deal.
Many were concerned about his lack of game time for the Liberty Stadium outfit, perhaps a little apprehensive given the more than physical demands that the Championship presents over the course of a 46-game season.
Fans needn’t have worried as Bartley stepped up to the mark in impressive form featuring 45 times for the Whites, scoring six times. That return, and his season at Elland Road, were good enough to earn him a new four-year deal at the Liberty Stadium. However, and even with a knee injury taking up a lot of his season, Bartley saw very limited time on the pitch featuring in only five games for just 233 minutes.
A few weeks ago journalist Phil Hay said that Leeds were back in for the solid Bartley, and United fans’ hearts began to beat quicker. That was followed up with more recent news that the Swans were ready to sell Bartley after the Manchester-born centre-back signalled his intention of leaving the relegated South Wales side.
Hay’s most recent article (above) says that “City’s board are willing to listen to offers having been told that he [Bartley] wants to consider options elsewhere.” Hay goes on to say that, with an initial outlay of £4 million being mentioned, that he “is understood to see Leeds as his first choice” out of all the clubs chasing his signature.
However, whilst a deal is being actively pursued by Leeds United, Swansea have said that no contact has been made with them about Bartley by any side, including Leeds. The Daily Record, in their piece, do say that wages might be a problem for sides wanting Bartley’s services saying “matching his wages of £28,000 could prove to be a stumbling block.”
It is widely known that Leeds United have a rigid wage structure that has governed signings, with many stating the ceiling figure is £15,000-per-week. However, there have also been mooted rumblings that the club are willing to increase that ceiling limit to bring in the right players.
For example, the Whites are already said to be seriously looking at a structured bid to bring in Championship hot-shot Abel Hernandez when his contract runs down at Hull City. That alone will give Leeds United’s terrace faithful an indication that a deal for Bartley is not out of the club’s reach.