Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala could be a viable option for Leeds United ahead of next season, according to LeedsLive journalist Joe Mewis.
The Northern Echo reported back in November that Leeds were interested in Ayala, 29, ahead of the January transfer window as Marcelo Bielsa eyed defensive reinforcements.
And those links have emerged again as of late with the Northern Echo again reporting that the Whites are admirers of the Spanish centre-back as he approaches the end of his contract at Middlesbrough.
There is a lot of uncertainty about contracts that expire in June due to the coronavirus outbreak putting football on indefinite hold in the United Kingdom.
However, as reported by Mewis, Ayala may still be someone who Leeds consider due to his potential availability and the need for centre-backs at Elland Road.
“In a current climate filled with uncertainties, an assessment of what Leeds United will need to do in the next transfer window (whenever that may be) does indeed throw up a question mark over the centre-back position,” Mewis told TeessideLive.
He added: “Ayala has plenty of experience in the top two divisions and would provide a physical presence at the back which is sometimes lacking for Leeds, especially at set-pieces.
“If his fitness is not an issue, he could be a good fit and a decent budget option for Leeds. Plenty of players in this current Leeds squad have played the best football of their careers under Bielsa, so the Spaniard could be another project for the Leeds head coach to get his teeth into.”
Ayala has plenty of Premier League and Championship experience and has been one of Middlesbrough’s best performers for them in what has been a poor season on Teesside.
According to stats by WhoScored, Ayala has won 3.9 aerial duels per game this season, ranking him second in the Boro squad out of players with more than five starts.
He’s also made the most clearances per game at The Riverside [5.9] and is only dribbled past 0.2 times per game, which is one of the lowest in Jonathan Woodgate’s squad.
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