By George Overhill

20th May, 2022 | 4:40pm

Leeds United exodus on the cards as nine players in line for permanent summer exit named

As many as nine of the current Leeds United squad could leave the club permanently after loan spells this summer, according to Beren Cross.

The Whites are already facing a battle to keep hold of star men Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips, as clubs circle for prospective big-money transfers, and would surely lose most of the key players if they are relegated.

United go into the final match of the season against Brentford on Sunday (22 May) knowing they have to better Burnley’s result against Newcastle or they will go down.

But according to Cross, even if they stay up a whole host of players could be set to leave this summer, as the club’s loan army doesn’t appear to be bearing much fruit.

In his Leeds Live Q&A this week he named Ian Poveda, Alfie McCalmont, Leif Davis, Kiko Casilla, Ryan Edmondson, Laurens De Bock, Mateusz Bogusz, Bobby Kamwa and Kun Temenuzhkov as either certain or likely to be sold or leave on a free transfer.

Even if some do not move on permanently, he expects them to at least go out again on loan, which he also predicts to be the case for the remaining loanees – Elia Caprile, Cody Drameh and Helder Costa.

Poor returns

Some of the names in that list will either provoke satisfaction or indifference at the news that they look set to be heading out of the club.

But it is not a glowing return for 12 players to have made temporary moves away and it appears none of them are in position to assist in the Premier League at all, should the club remain.

Drameh, fresh from being named Cardiff’s player of the season despite only being in Wales for half a season, surely represents the greatest prospect.

If the club are dropped back into the Championship then he is tipped for a greater first-team role, but even he is apparently not in line for enough game time in the top flight.

If the fans’ worst fears become reality on Sunday then perhaps the club will be forced to keep hold of some of these players, to flesh out a squad that will surely be stripped of its best assets.

But after the Marcelo Bielsa fairytale came to an end and the squad’s limitations were laid bare this year, there is going to be a lot of hopes pinned on the continued progression of youngsters like Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood for the future, unless recruitment takes a major leap forward.

In other Leeds United news, one talkSPORT pundit has given his verdict on the club’s fate this weekend.