Leeds United Want To Retain Services Of Veteran Defensive Ace: They Must Secure Promotion To Get It Done

LEEDS, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Gaetano Berardi of Leeds United has words with referee Anthony Taylor during the Sky Bet Championship Play-off semi final second leg match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on May 15, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Football is yet to resume in England amid the COVID-19 crisis, but the players are back in training. Things are getting better gradually across Europe even though the lockdown still persists.

But the transfer activities are facing uncertainty due to obvious reasons and according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, although Leeds United want Gaetano Berardi to extend his stay at Elland Road, the future of the defender depends upon whether they gain promotion by the end of the current season.

Berardi, 31, has been at the club since the summer of 2014. He witnessed many ups and downs over the years but stayed true to his duties and offered his versatility across the backline under ten different managers. The once-capped Switzerland international has appeared 150 times for the Whites in all competitions. However, his days in West Yorkshire seem to be numbered though with his current deal set to expire by the end of June.

While a short-term extension is likely to be arranged until the conclusion of the current term, the likelihood of a new contract is relying upon their top-flight return. Leeds United want Berardi to commit his future, but a late mishap might see him leaving for Italy where he began his senior career 13 years ago at Brescia.

Berardi receiving marching order against Millwall.
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 05: Gaetano Berardi of Leeds is sent off during the Sky Bet Championship match between Millwall and Leeds United at The Den on October 05, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

“My understanding is that as the first port of call, he and the club will agree a short-term extension to cover the remaining matches. It won’t be a problem. After that, a more substantial renewal might depend on which division Leeds are in.”

Hay clarified the above highlighting the contract status of Berardi in the wake of the worldwide financial instability.

Why Leeds United Want Berardi To Stay Put In West Yorkshire

The former Sampdoria man has not been regular under Marcelo Bielsa having appeared 20 times so far this campaign prior to the suspension of football. But his ability to slot in as a centre-half, defensive midfielder as well as fullback offered the gaffer much-needed flexibility while dealing with injuries and suspensions.

The standard and quality of Premier League are not quite the same as of the Championship, but the experience of the Swiss professional would be key as he has presumably accepted a sporadic role since the appointment of the veteran Argentine as the Elland Road chief. It won’t be easy for the Whites to keep hold of on-loan Ben White amid growing interest from the English hotshots. Therefore, the decision of retaining Berardi is crucial to maintaining depth in the defensive third.

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