By Sam Stone

24th Jan, 2023 | 9:10pm

Sunderland and Blackburn in 'wages war' to sign Leeds United ace Joe Gelhardt

Sunderland are in a “wages war” with Blackburn Rovers for Joe Gelhardt as the race for the Leeds United youngster heats up, according to The Sun’s Alan Nixon.

Nixon has suggested (via his Patreon, 24 January) Leeds want assurances from both clubs that they will utilise Gelhardt properly and subsidise a “proper” offer towards his salary.

It’s believed Blackburn may have the edge in terms of covering the 20-year-old’s salary, with Sunderland trying to keep their budget tight.

Wigan, Coventry and Swansea have all shown interest in Gelhardt, but have been unable to compete with the promotion chasers.

Resolution

It would be good if a resolution to Gelhardt’s future was found soon. The forward has been starved of meaningful Premier League minutes in the 2022/23 campaign and a Championship move would certainly do him good.

He’s at a stage in his career where he needs to play week in and week out to fulfil his full potential and returning to the second tier could see the youngster thrive. He’s proven his ability on the Premier League stage before and has perhaps been a victim of the success of some of Leeds’ other youngsters.

Willy Gnonto was not expected to burst onto the scene as he has done, and Crysencio Summerville has broken onto the first team more regularly. Had both players not had as much of an impact then there would’ve been every chance of Gelhardt being given more opportunities by Jesse Marsch.

As the window creeps closer to its conclusion, the club need to make a decision on what’s the best move for Gelhardt for the second half of the campaign.

In other Leeds United news, visit our live transfer blog for around-the-clock updates straight from Elland Road.