By George Overhill

25th Jan, 2023 | 12:40pm

Joe Gelhardt has done all he can for Leeds United loan exit as Wigan transfer embargo disputed

Joe Gelhardt has “done all he can” to secure a loan move from Leeds United to Wigan who are not expecting a transfer embargo, according to Paul Kendrick.

The Wigan Observer reporter has disputed a claim, which appears to have now been deleted, from Football League World that the Championship’s bottom side had an incoming situation ruling them out of the market to land their former player from Elland Road.

But it appears that is not the case, and the delays to Gelhardt returning to the DW Stadium as was expected earlier in the window [The Athletic, 19 January] is unrelated, as it is a matter of Leeds wanting him to feature for a club higher up the table.

Reporting on Twitter on Tuesday evening (24 January) Kendrick wrote: “Understand talk of a looming transfer embargo at Wigan Athletic wide of the mark…certainly not the reason for any hold-up in the Joe Gelhardt move…”

He followed up in response to questions from followers: “Leeds have to sign it off. Latics have done all they can. Player has done all he can. We just have to wait.

“They want him to play at the highest level possible (perhaps understandable).”

Limbo

It is looking more and more likely that Gelhardt doesn’t get his preferred move, with clubs like Blackburn and Sunderland now in the race.

The personal connection has made the Latics Joffy’s ideal destination to spend the rest of the season, but a matter of cash and playing situation appear to be attracting Leeds United’s attention to other clubs.

It does however look like they are still an option if a suitable deal can’t be reached with one of the sides higher up the Championship table, with the embargo claim apparently now ruled out.

From a United point of view, the club would no doubt like a decent amount of his £25,000-a-week wages [TEAMtalk, 28 July] covered, and a loan fee would sweeten the deal, given they are continuing to chase their own moves before the close of the window.

But longer-team it is the situation in which Gelhardt will be playing that is more important. He has struggled for sustained game time under Jesse Marsch this year so somewhere that he can play regularly is vital.

However, Wigan are rooted to the bottom of the table and haven’t won in nine across all competitions, so a real scrap could go either way in terms of how valuable the experience.

If that is where the 20-year-old wants to go then there has to be some mileage in sending him where he’s most comfortable, to get him firing ahead of next season.

But it appears the club have other ideas currently and may even be eyeing a permanent sale to a club that secures promotion.

In other Leeds United news, the club have had a contract offer accepted ahead of a potential signing in the final week of the transfer window.