By Nick Ware

10th Jul, 2021 | 6:10pm

Fabrizio Romano admits 'Surprise' that Leeds United let Ezgjan Alioski leave

Fabrizio Romano has expressed his “surprise” over Ezgjan Alioski’s Leeds United exit last week, following the expiry of his contract.

The 29-year-old’s four-year-spell as a Whites player came to an end on June 30 after months of speculation surrounding his future.

Leeds released a statement on their official club website [05/07/21] expressing their gratitude to the North Macedonia international, while they also claimed that they had “made offers” to keep him at Elland Road, but that they were “unable to reach an agreement with his representatives”.

Bizarrely, speaking via his Twitch account on Friday night [09/07/21], transfer guru Romano suggested Leeds had been big players in his exit.

The Italian journalist said: “He’s available now on the market as a free agent and he could be one of the potential opportunities for maybe Turkish or Italian clubs.

“I’m surprised Leeds are letting him go because he played a really good Premier League season, so I’m curious to see where Alioski will move next season.”

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The way the story was presented by Romano makes it appear that the Whites were content to see Alioski leave the club this summer, but all the noises from Elland Road point to a club that were desperate to keep him.

Financial details have not been disclosed, but Leeds were willing to offer him fresh terms, and the deal would surely have been of a decent standard to reflect Alioski’s position as a regular starter in a top-10 Premier League team.

It is, of course, his prerogative as to whether he takes up that offer as there may be a host of reasons not to sign it. He may want to move for personal, financial or sporting reasons.

Regarding the latter, it may well be that he wants to revert to his more natural position as a midfielder or winger, whereas Marcelo Bielsa saw him as more suited to left-back in his team.

But, regardless of Alioski’s motives, Leeds have to protect themselves as a club, and they cannot bow down to any exorbitant demands over a player heading into their thirties if that was indeed the case.

It’s unlikely to have been the case that Leeds are “letting him go”, as Romano suggests, but more that the financial realities of the world mean that the club have to cut their cloth accordingly, and Alioski’s demands just didn’t fit into that.

In other Leeds United news, these Whites stars have reacted on Instagram to this ‘Phenomenal’ Kalvin Phillips Saturday post.