Leeds Set to Pursue Middlesbrough Defender Daniel Ayala Regardless of Promotion

​Leeds are set to chase the signature of Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala irrespective of whether they gain promotion to the Premier League at the end of the season.

The coronavirus pandemic has cast doubt over their current table-topping Championship campaign, while the possibility remains that the season could yet be rendered a null and void.

Marcelo Bielsa

Other suggestions have included the current top two in the Championship - Leeds and West Brom - forming a 22-team Premier League next season, but it's likely that the remaining nine league fixtures will be played at some point later this year.

Nevertheless, United are in a healthy position to secure promotion to the top-flight for the first time since 2004 under Marcelo Bielsa, and they're seemingly already planning for the future.

According to the Daily StarLeeds are ready to make a move for Boro defender Ayala - who's out of contract at the Riverside at the end of the season and will leave the club regardless of whether they avoid relegation into League One.

With question marks over the future of loanee Ben White, centre back looks to be a position of need for Bielsa whenever the next opportunity arises.

Luke Ayling,Ben White,Alexandre Lacazette

And signing Ayala on a free transfer could represent an astute bit of business on the Argentine's behalf.

The 29-year-old, who started his career at Liverpool, already has Premier League experience following Boro's promotion to the top-flight in 2016, while the Spaniard also made seven appearances for Norwich during their impressive 2011/12 campaign.

He has continued to shine at the heart of the Boro backline since their return to the second tier in 2017, making 216 appearances at the Riverside and establishing himself as one of the Championships better centre halves.

Leeds, however, are unlikely to be the only side in for the 6ft 3in centre back, with the possibility of snatching Ayala up for nothing being an opportunity other Premier League and European clubs may want to explore.

Daniel Ayala,Juninho Bacuna,Frazier Campbell

It's believed, though, that a move to Elland Road appeals to the Boro man due to the fact it wouldn't necessitate a house move, while the possibility of working under Bielsa also intrigues Ayala.

Source : 90min