According to Football Insider’s Wayne Veysey, Leeds United are holding off offering popular defender Gaetano Berardi a new deal until the club is certain as to where the Whites sit at the end of the current campaign.
31-year-old former Switzerland international Berardi was one of the very first wave of Italy-based players brought over by former Leeds owner Massimo Cellino in a ‘better the devil you know’ transfer strategy by the madcap Italian. However, he has been the only one of Cellino’s deals to strike a chord with United fans due to his combative, ‘guts ‘n glory’ approach and playing style.
Yes, the red cards have been there but Berardi has spilled blood for the Whites cause on more than one occasion. It is this approach, plus his ability to play across the backline that has endeared him to Leeds United fans since his 2014 arrival at Elland Road in what has been a £90,000 bargain.
Since his arrival, Berardi has gone on to make 148 appearances for the Whites, scoring two goals and providing seven assists. However, Football Insider’s Veysey writes that the Whites are “continuing to hold off on offering” the popular defender a new deal until they are certain of which league they will play in next season.
Berardi’s current deal is up in the summer and he has been free to sign a pre-contract deal with overseas clubs since the closing of January’s winter window. However, no movement has been made on that front and Veysey notes that a ‘Leeds source’ “has told Football Insider” that the West Yorkshire club “have no immediate plans” to rush into offering him a new deal at Elland Road.
As Veysey indicates, the offering of a new contract “will depend on whether Leeds are playing in the Premier League or the second tier next season” with this view possibly indicating that the club does not see him as a viable player for the top-tier.