Leeds must get rid of Gjanni Alioski in the summer amid a major development over his long-term future at the Premier League side.
The 29-year-old’s contract at Marcelo Bielsa’s side expires at the end of the season, and as of yet, there have been no talks of Leeds renewing his deal to extend his stay at Elland Road.
Now, Football Insider claim that Alioski has instructed his agent to start finding him a new club ahead of the summer, with his contract situation meaning that he will be able to sign a pre-contract with a foreign club.
Former Premier League star Kevin Phillips said earlier this season: “From what I gather, his attitude is good and every club needs a player like that. He is a player who can unlock the door and he has a brilliant work rate.
“When he comes off the bench he can change the game and if you start with him he might be able to produce a bit of magic. Either way he does not moan and every squad needs a player like that. He is a player that they would like to keep. Leeds will want to get him on a new contract.”
And, writing in The Athletic, Phil Hay said: “Opinion about him can be divided between those who see merit in Alioski’s engine and flashes of class and those who question his ability to consistently impact on games. Bielsa’s own assessment of him is clear enough. Only the disciplined survive under Bielsa. When the Argentinian took over at Leeds, Alioski was one of those who comfortably made the cut.”
But while the £55k-a-week earning Alioski has clearly been a favourite of Bielsa’s since he took over at Elland Road – he’s played well over well over 100 games for him – his disappointing performances this season raise question marks over whether he’s truly cut out for the Premier League.
He was woeful in the 4-2 defeat to Arsenal earlier in February, and that shocking display prompted Bielsa to drop him from the starting line-up for the next game against Wolves – he’s since been named among the substitutes for the subsequent two Premier League fixtures too.
Stuart Dallas has filled in at left-back, while 21-year-old Leif Davis is also waiting in the wings to get a real chance in the first-team. Making a tough call on Alioski and letting him walk in the summer would allow Leeds to move on. It may have Bielsa fuming about losing one of his key players over these past few seasons, but the time is surely right to look to the future.