The January transfer window saw Leeds build on their first team squad with the recruitment of signings like Red Bull Salzburg captain Max Wober, USA star Weston McKennie and club transfer record-breaker Georginio Rutter. Now, the club must look ahead at resolving a number of player contracts which could soon be up in the air.
Leeds reporter with the BBC Adam Pope today highlighted some of the question marks around contract situations at Elland Road:
Question is now for #lufc what work will be done as Harrison, Koch, Rodrigo, Dallas & Cooper all have 18 months to run on their contracts. This summer sees Ayling, Forshaw (club has 1yr option), Robles out of contract & McKennie loan expires unless he becomes permanent.
— Adam Pope (@apopey) February 2, 2023
The Leeds winger came very close to leaving Leeds on Deadline Day earlier this week, after travelling to Leicester for a medical only for Leeds to back out of the sale. Harrison’s contract is due to expire in the summer of 2024, and reports indicate that Leeds are already in talks with the 26 year old’s representatives over a contract extension merely days after his possible departure.
Rodrigo has been a star in the Leeds team this season with 12 goals to his name. His current deal at the club is also up in the summer of 2024. Leeds face a decision on their hands as Rodrigo is one of the top earners at the club, and will also be 33 when his contract expires. Given his form in front of goal and presence in the dressing room, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Leeds offer him and extension at some point this year.
Few players in the Leeds squad can say they’ve been there for the ups and downs that Luke Ayling has been around for, and is rightly a fan favourite at the club. Ayling’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the current Premier League season, which leaves Leeds with a decision to make. Fellow right back Rasmus Kristensen has played plenty of first team football this year while the vice-captain was absent with injury, and youngster Cody Drameh is tipped as one for the future and will be assessed at the end of his loan spell at Luton Town until the end of the season. It will be interesting to see how it pans out, as it is unlikely the club will have all three of Ayling, Kristensen and Drameh all on the books.
Stuart Dallas’ contract is valid through to the end of the 2023-24 campaign. He’s beloved by Leeds fans for his non-stop energy and side-before-self style of play, and has been sorely missed in Jesse Marsch’s side this season. Dallas has been out of action since last April, after suffering a break in his femur while making a challenge in a clash with champions Man City. Its unclear when he will return to action, as complications with the injury led to multiple surgeries dating to as recently as last month. We’d love to see Dallas back in the Leeds shirt soon, but the club definitely has a decision on their hands with regard to his contract situation.
The German defender is regarded as one of the stronger options in the centre of defence, and it has been reported that Leeds will offer him a new deal at the club sooner rather than later. Not only is Koch excellent on the field, he is very engaged with communities around the city and does exemplary work with charitable organisations. Its a no-brainer to try and keep him at Leeds, and hopefully the club can make ground on this before the summer transfer window.
Club captain Liam Cooper has 18 months to run on his current contract at Leeds. Similarly to Luke Ayling, Cooper has been at the club through ups, downs and everything in-between. He’s a tremendous leader and a valuable presence on the field. Its difficult to call what the club’s approach will be with his contract, as it is possible we start to see younger faces coming into the first team defence at Leeds over the next year.
Adam Forshaw’s current contract with Leeds is due to expire at the end of the current season, though the club has the option to renew the deal for another year. Forshaw is considered a great professional, but his five year tenure at Leeds has been plagued by injury. With continuous setbacks and a number players ahead of him in the pecking order, it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if Forshaw’s time at Elland Road came to an end when the 2022-23 season is over.
What are your thoughts on the different contract scenarios at Elland Road? Let us know in the comment section below and on Twitter at @VitalLeeds!