By Joe Ellis

3rd Jun, 2022 | 11:40am

Leeds United in hunt to sign James Tarkowski from Burnley

Leeds United are the latest Premier League side to enter the race to sign James Tarkowski when his contract expires, according to the Daily Mail.

The 29-year-old’s current deal with Burnley will end on 30 June and he is set to leave Turf Moor after six years with the Clarets after they were relegated by the Whites on the final day of the 2021-22 season.

Fellow strugglers from last season, Everton, and Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa currently lead the race to sign the England international but Jesse Marsch has thrown our cap into the ring.

Leicester City have also registered their interest in Tarkowski as he offers great experience and ability for no transfer cost, with only a signing on fee, agent fees and wages needed to be paid for whoever gets the deal done.

Tarkowski’s long-standing central defensive partner, Ben Mee, is also leaving the club on a free transfer this summer as the mass exodus of Lancashire gathers momentum following relegation.

Worth a go

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The Daily Mail report sounds like we may have entered the race a touch too late with the Toffees and the Villains already at a much more advanced stage than us but it can’t hurt having a go at signing him.

He is a very experienced player which is arguably something we lacked at the Premier League level last season which is partly why we found ourselves in such trouble on the final day, even though we managed to escape the drop.

Our defence was truly awful for a lot of last season, seeing us concede more goals [79] than any other team in the division bar bottom-club Norwich City [84].

Tarkowski would help to solidify that leaky back line considerably and give Illan Meslier far fewer saves to make while also freeing up the midfield to express themselves rather than be worried about conceding every time we lose the ball.

It might not be the fancy signing Marsch had in mind when he arrived at Elland Road but he could be the one who unlocks several other players’ real ability and that is a game-changer.

In other Leeds United news, we can afford to pull out of the race to sign this Championship midfielder because Brenden Aaronson can do the same job.