By Dave Woods

2nd Jul, 2019 | 2:56pm

Halme close to Barnsley move

21-year-old centre-back Aapo Halme is closing in on a permanent move to Championship rivals Barnsley.

That might come as a bit of a surprise for fans, who were expecting him to provide cover at the back next season or move on loan.

However, according to Finnish outlet Helsingin Sanomat Barnsley are signing the Finnish player on a three-year contract.

A previous report from Football Insider had claimed that the 21-year-old had a future at Leeds but that the club wanted him to develop elsewhere for a season.

The 6tft5in defender looked promising when he came on for Bielsa this season. He made five appearances, including one start in the Championship and he didn’t look out of place.

There could be a silver lining in the deal, though. Leeds signed Ben White from Brighton this week and with one in and one out, it makes it more likely that Pontus Jansson will be staying.

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If that’s the case, Leeds fans will probably accept this, although it’s never good to see talented young players being sold on. Leeds have already announced that Jack Clarke has moved to Tottenham, although he’s back at Leeds for the next season on loan.

If Jansson does go – and Telegraph journalist Matt Law has said that Fulham are keen – Leeds would surely have to bring in at least one more centre-back this summer.

If anything Leeds need extra legs there after Kalvin Phillips had to cover at centre-back 13 times in the league last season.