According to the Gazette the Mirror has reported over the past weekend that Leeds United and Middlesbrough would have to cough up £7.5 million for defender Kyle Bartley from Swansea City.
Gary Monk decided to bring the defender to Elland Road after spending time with him at the Liberty Stadium during his reign at Swansea City. The defender went on to make 45 appearances for Leeds in the Championship last season and played a pivotal part in Leeds’ surprise push for the Play-Offs.
The 6ft 4in defender created a formidable partnership with Pontus Jansson at the back during last season and with Bartley forming a strong bond with the Elland Road faithful, a move back to West Yorkshire certainly wouldn’t be a surprise. With Leeds using their aerial presence last season on numerous occasions from corners, the trio of Bartley, Jansson and Wood caused opposition defenders a number of headaches and this saw Bartley score six goals, an impressive return for a defender.
Like anything that seems too good to be true however, there are complicating factors with Leeds’ interest in bringing Bartley back into the Championship. Swansea’s £7.5 million price tag will test Leeds’ owner Andrea Radrizzani’s willingness to spend in this transfer market after a season that was so nearly but not quite there. With the incoming new head coach Thomas Christiansen into the limelight at Elland Road, he may also decide that Bartley isn’t on his personal transfer list and that he would prefer to sign another defender.
The most obvious battle though will be with Gary Monk. As the former Leeds boss has now taken over at Middlesbrough, it’s a question as to whether Middlesbrough have the money to sign the defender and as to whether Bartley himself wants to link up with his former boss, move back to West Yorkshire or attempt to stay out in Wales to play Premier League football.