By George Overhill

22nd Jan, 2023 | 8:40am

Leeds United insider reveals ideal Joe Gelhardt move as Stoke, Coventry and Blackburn rival Wigan

Joe Gelhardt is “drawn” to a reunion with Wigan but Leeds United insiders have revealed Blackburn are the “ideal” destination for him, according to The Sun.

With the Whites completing a club-record deal for Georginio Rutter this month 20-year-old Gelhardt’s already-sparse opportunities are set to reduce further and a loan move is now expected before the window closes.

And the forward who burst into the spotlight last season with some dramatic contributions to the relegation battle is now set to be cleared to speak to interested clubs this week.

Having moved to Elland Road from the Latics they still appear to be favourites, but “bigger clubs” are now in the race, with Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City, Swansea and Coventry all after him as the Whites make clear what they want out of the equation.

According to Alan Nixon in The Sun: “Gelhardt will only go to a team where he can play and Leeds are looking for a fair chunk of his salary to be paid plus possible bonuses.

“Blackburn have looked into Denis Undaz at Brighton as an alternative but insiders reveal they would be the ideal option.”

Clamour

Wigan are surely still in the driving seat if they are the club that Gelhardt himself wants the most, but a more lucrative offer from one of the other sides could sway things at Elland Road.

With his former side rooted to the bottom of the Championship and Blackburn currently fourth in the table there is clearly a greater chance of success at Ewood Park.

Whether that means more playing time is another matter but playing in a better side should be more beneficial to both the Whites and the player.

He presumably remains in the first team plans in future so the plan should be to get him extensive action in the second half of the season with a view to developing into a greater role next year.

However, Cody Drameh’s loan in Cardiff last season, as well as Gelhardt’s own role in the Premier League at the time, haven’t produced greater chances under Jesse Marsch for either.

The club clearly have a talented group of youngsters, but there currently isn’t space for all of them and something will have to give.

If Blackburn make it back to the top flight next season they are surely going to be in the best position to make a sizeable permanent offer were the young forward to go there and perform well on loan now, which might also be factoring into the thinking in West Yorkshire.

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