By Anthony Onifade

22nd Jan, 2023 | 11:40am

Leeds United clear Joe Gelhardt talks to exit on loan as Elland Road wage stance emerges

Leeds United have reportedly cleared the way for young striker Joe Gelhardt to enter into talks with interested parties willing to take him on loan this month, and they are requesting that a fair chunk of his wages be paid, according to the Sun on Sunday.

The 20-year-old wonderkid has been the subject of much interest during the January window, with plenty of Sky Bet Championship clubs willing to take him on loan for the rest of the campaign.

And according to The Sun [21 January], the player is drawn to a move to Wigan Athletic, but the Whites believe that Blackburn Rovers is the ideal destination for his development.

And now according to the Sun on Sunday [22 January, pg 58], the club have cleared the way for Gelhardt to speak to potential suitors in the coming days over a loan move.

The report states that while he is drawn to a sentimental move to the Latics this month, Stoke, Coventry, Blackburn and Swansea City are all interested in his services. The Whites will be demanding that a fair chunk of his £5,100 per week is paid by his potential next destination.

Big decision

With the Whites stocked in the striking department, it is evidently clear that Gelhardt’s playing time and opportunities will be significantly reduced for the remainder of the campaign.

A loan move away makes perfect sense for the player to get some first-team exposure and also to further his development.

However, the Whites must make a big decision as to where he ends up this month because that could have a telling impact on his future and the state at which he returns to the club this summer.

The 20-year-old striker is incredibly gifted, arguably one of the biggest young talents at Elland Road and it’s important that the player’s next step is thought out and taken with expert consideration.

Will a move to relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic be good for his development? With a much pressurised and desperate environment, it might prove the best place for the player to show his best self.

What’s clear is that Gelhardt needs to fit into a similar tactical model at Leeds but more crucially, develop and mature with consistent game time, and Kolo Toure’s Wigan still discovering themselves under his new stewardship may not be the right place for Gelhardt.

In other Leeds United news, young talent is attracting major attention with another sensation now tipped to leave in a big-money move soon.