Marcelo Bielsa has suggested that Barry Douglas will stay at Leeds United this season despite speculation linking him with a move away from Elland Road.
According to Sky Sports, Celtic have eyed up a move for the 31-year-old left-back, who has been left out of both of Bielsa’s first two Premier League matchday squads. More recently, Frank McAvennie has revealed he’s been told by his sources at Celtic Park there is still interest.
Stuart Dallas has started both of Leeds’ league fixtures at left-back while Ezgjan Alioski has been a back-up option for Bielsa if the Northern Ireland international was needed elsewhere in the side or suffers an injury or suspension.
Douglas only made six starts in the Championship last season due to his own injury issues as well as being well down the left-back pecking order at Elland Road.
But just because he hasn’t featured so far in the top-flight doesn’t mean that Bielsa has any plans to sell him after Sky Sports linked the Scot with a move to Glasgow.
“I give you the same answer as I gave you with [Robbie] Gotts, but added to the fact he has played many times for the first team,” said Bielsa on Friday, as quoted by LeedsLive.
“If he continues with us he will be a very useful player for our project. He’s an impeccable professional. His preparation has been very, very good. He is an integral part of the group here.
“Just because he hasn’t been part of the 18 in the first two games it doesn’t mean he won’t be useful across the season.”
Douglas’ one appearance for Leeds this season came when he played in the Carabao Cup defeat to Stoke City earlier this month.
The former Wolves left-back played 90 minutes and scored his penalty in the shoot-out but he failed to really impress in the cup game and didn’t earn a recall to Bielsa’s matchday squad in the league against Fulham.
We don’t expect him to play a role this weekend either but Bielsa is pretty clear on the fact that he still has a place for the Scotland international in his plans.
But will Douglas, who is 31-years-old, be willing to play just a bit-part role at this stage of his career?
He’s in the final year of his contract at Elland Road and not really hit the heights that were expected of him when Bielsa signed him from Wolves in 2018.
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