Leeds remain hopeful that Gjanni Alioski will still sign a new contract to stay at Elland Road amid reports that Galatasaray have offered him a deal.
The 28-year-old – a cult figure at Elland Road – has been at Leeds since July 2017 and made 142 league appearances. The North Macedonia international played his part as Marcelo Bielsa’s men gained promotion to the Premier League.
This season, his game-time has increased further. He has started 14 of Leeds’ 19 Premier League games to date and remains a trusted figure under Bielsa.
With his contract due to expire in the summer, Leeds have already made their intentions clear over extending his stay. Talks were held in December over an extension and Leeds were hopeful at the time an agreement would be reached.
However, Alioski is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal. Predictably, his high-energy performances for Leeds have drawn attention from elsewhere.
As such, reports on Wednesday claimed Alioski has ‘reached a principle agreement with Galatasaray’ to sign him. Another report also claimed that United were ‘still calculating over the extension of his contract’.
They go on to say that ‘if the Premier League side does not offer him one soon, then Galatasaray want to use the whole situation and bring him to their ranks for no money’.
However, TEAMtalk understands that Bielsa remains keen to keep Alioski. The player’s versatility, as well as his energy, is important to the Leeds boss. Furthermore, the player is a popular figure among his fellow players and is good for the team’s morale.
It’s understood that Leeds are still talking to Alioski and remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached.
But with the clock ticking, all the power appears to remain with Alioski and it will likely come down to the player’s choice.
Leeds have been linked with Marseille’s Jordan Amavi as a potential replacement.
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Bielsa issues defensive concerns
Leeds got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United on Tuesday night. It left then 12th in the standings with 26 points from 19 games played.
Alioski started on the left of a back four before giving way to Mateusz Klich on 56 minutes. And it was the defensive aspect of Leeds’ performance that gave the Argentinian coach the most concern.
When asked if Leeds had improved at defending set pieces, Bielsa replied: “You know there wasn’t an improvement on this. Because they don’t score doesn’t mean we are defending them better.
“There will be a solution to this problem when we don’t concede chances from corners. Difficult for me to say exactly what I think.
“Though we did defend some set-pieces better, we should have done better with others.”
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