By Dan Carter

26th Sep, 2023 | 10:10am

49ers must agree Leeds United settlement for Helder Costa now

This summer saw plenty of high-profile exits from Elland Road as the Leeds United squad that were relegated from the Premier League was torn apart as players activated their release clauses.

But while the likes of Tyler Adams, Marc Roca, Rodrigo and many more left the club, Helder Costa was unable to find a potential suitor during the summer transfer window and has instead ended up stuck and unwanted in Daniel Farke’s squad.

The Angolan winger is no longer training alongside the rest of the Whites’ first-team squad and has no way of working his way back into the Leeds manager’s plans, with the current expectation being that he will see out the remainder of his contract before departing on a free transfer [Phil Hay, 25 September].

Hay said on The Square Ball Podcast (25 September, 31:00): “One of a handful of things is going to have to happen here. Either they terminate his contract, or when they get round to January they find him somewhere to go for six months so he can burn down what’s left of his deal and move on. Or he sits tight until the end of the season and moves on when his contract runs out.”

Leeds have to find a way to terminate Costa’s contract rather than let him sit on a decent wage with absolutely no hope of being involved in Farke’s side between now and the expiry of his deal at the end of the campaign.

The wings are some of the most heavily contested positions in the current Leeds side, with a depth of quality that has seen the likes of Jaidon Anthony and Daniel James often restricted to impacting games when coming off of the bench.

All the major transfer windows around the world are now closed and when they were open there was a reluctance for any club to make a move to sign Costa, given his relatively ineffective loan spell with Al-Ittihad last season and lack of recent involvement with Leeds United.

It’s unlikely that the interest in the 29-year-old will change particularly when the January transfer window rolls around, while a potential loan exit may be possible, clubs will be reluctant to pay a transfer fee to buy the winger when they know they can sign him on a free contract in six months.

Leeds are in a financially strong position, but it makes very little sense to be slowly paying off Costa when they could cut all ties immediately should they agree on a settlement fee. The 49ers have to act soon to ensure they aren’t just leaking money for the remainder of the campaign.

For Costa, becoming a free agent would open his options up massively as he will no longer be restricted to moving between clubs in the transfer window. That will make finding a new club much easier and he’ll likely even be subject to a healthier signing-on fee.

Tearing up the contract and agreeing to a settlement fee would be the best move for all parties, now the 49ers and Costa have to find a way to end his time at Elland Road.

In other Leeds United news, Carlton Palmer has suggested that the Whites may be forced into selling Archie Gray