Leeds United have entered talks with Premier League side Swansea City in order to sign English centre-back Kyle Bartley in the summer, as per reports from the Yorkshire Evening Post.
The 26-year old has been deemed surplus to requirement by the Welsh outfit, despite only having signed a new four-year deal last summer. And as per the aforementioned report, the Swans are open to entertain offers for Bartley, provided they survive the threat of relegation from the English top-flight.
Bartley spent the 2016/17 campaign on loan with Leeds United and had a brilliant campaign under former manager Garry Monk. The former Arsenal trainee established a solid partnership alongside the ever-present Pontus Jansson in the heart of the defence and the duo were widely heralded as one of the best defensive pairings in the English second division last season.
Having returned to parent club Swansea, Bartley has struggled to have a similar kind of impact. The defender had to go under the knife early in the season due to knee ligament issues and made his comeback in January, but failed to nail down a spot in the lineup. And now, the 26-year old has reportedly sustained another knee injury that has ruled him out of the season.
The Manchester-born centre-half has made just five appearances in the Premier League this term and has 12 times in total across all competitions.
Leeds United have struggled defensively this season, especially in the second half of the campaign, that saw them decline sharply and miss out on the playoff positions. Jansson has once again been the mainstay, albeit the Swede has had an inconsistent campaign compared to the last season, while the likes of Liam Cooper and Matthew Pennington haven’t had the most memorable of the seasons.
Youngster Paudie O’Connor has impressed in recent weeks, but the Whites need an experienced head at the back who can help them stay steady and not crumble under pressure like they have done on quite a few occasions in the 2017/18 season.
And Bartley, in that regard, makes total sense. A no-nonsense defender with the required strength and physical attributes and tenacity, the 26-year old has proven himself to be more than an able performer in the second division. Moreover, the leadership qualities that he brings to the table, the vocal presence that he adds to the backline, is something that Leeds have missed sorely this term.
Bartley has been at the Elland Road before, has proven himself and the fact that fellow defender Jansson too seemed so much better playing alongside the Swansea City man should be enough of a driving factor for the Whites’ hierarchy to get the signing over the line at the earliest, despite his latest injury setback.