Leeds United are reportedly in the market for a centre back this January transfer window, and had identified Middlesbrough’s Dani Ayala as a potential target, as reported on The72.

But according to Leeds Live journalist Beren Cross, the Whites will not be pursuing a deal for the Middlesbrough defender.

Ayala may be available for a cut price given his contract is due to expire at the end of the season. But Cross states that there is no truth in the links doing the rounds at the moment.

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“There is nothing in the Daniel Ayala rumour, I am told” responded the journalist when asked about reported transfer targets for Leeds, although his sources have not been revealed.

However, he did mention that there is a danger of Ben White returning to his parent club Brighton and Hove Albion, which would leave Marcelo Bielsa’s side even lighter on numbers in the centre of defence.

Liam Cooper has been a regular alongside White, with Gaetano Berardi and youngster Leif Davis as back up. This could mean Leeds will still be looking to January for a new centre back, but it will not be Middlesbrough’s Ayala.

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If Ayala was to leave the North East, it would leave Boro short in defence too. They only have Ayala and Dael Fry as recognised first team centre backs, with 17-year old Nathan Wood being given a spot on the subs bench in recent weeks.

Full backs George Friend and Ryan Shotton have filled in at times this season, as has midfielder Paddy McNair, but the trio would prefer to be utilised in their natural positions, so keeping Ayala would be vital for Jonathan Woodgate’s side.

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