Leeds United: Grayson is confident of White contract deal

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Simon Grayson is confident that Leeds United will reach a deal with Aidan White which will keep the talented youngster at Elland Road beyond the end of this season.

Grayson claimed he was optimistic of a positive outcome from negotiations between the club and their 20-year-old defender, who has rejected a first contract offer from Leeds.

White turned down an initial proposal put to him last month, declining a fresh four-year deal, but both he and his manager have spoken hopefully of a resolution in the near future.

The long-term contract signed by White in 2008 is into its final seven months and he will be entitled to join another club next summer if United are unable to convince him to accept their terms.

The offer made to White by Leeds has ensured that the club will retain the right to compensation in the event that he moves on from Elland Road and joins another English side, but talks are continuing as United attempt to tie down a player generated by their academy.

White came through the youth-team ranks at Thorp Arch and, having turned 20 in October, his age guarantees Leeds a fee from any future transfer before his 24th birthday.

But Grayson wants to see United retain the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, who has held down a place in his starting line-up throughout the current Championship season, and said he expected “positive news” in the coming weeks.

The Leeds manager insisted he was relaxed about White’s decision to reject an initial offer, saying: “It’s like all contract negotiations.

“I don’t think I’ve been involved with a player, an agent or a representative who’s actually decided to take the first offer from a club. It’s just the nature of the game.

“From our point of view we don’t want to be going over the top on contracts but obviously players have got a figure where they value themselves. Somewhere in the middle, you reach an agreement and somebody signs.

“That’s probably going to be the case with Aidy.

“He’s done really well for the club and he wants to stay with us so I’m sure something will get sorted over the next few weeks and we’ll have positive news on that.”

Preference

White stated earlier this week that his preference was to stay with Leeds, the club who gave him his professional debut at the age of 17 in 2008.

Championship and Premier League clubs are understood to be monitoring his situation at Elland Road but United look set to return to his advisors with a fresh proposal in an effort to bring negotiations to a quick and successful conclusion.

White said: “We’re in the middle of negotiations at the moment and I want to sign for Leeds. Hopefully we’ll get something sorted as soon as we can.

“I’ll just focus on my football as far as that goes and hopefully we’ll take care of the off-field issues.”

Leeds have recently extended contracts held by a number of other players at Elland Road, most significantly Tom Lees and Ramon Nunez who have both committed themselves to United until the summer of 2015, but a resolution over White’s deal is increasingly pressing after his rejection of the terms put to him last month.

Meanwhile, Cardiff City’s Malky Mackay has been named as the Championship’s manager of the month for November.

Mackay beat Barnsley’s Keith Hill, Bristol City’s Derek McInnes and West Ham United’s Sam Allardyce to the Football League’s prize.

Doncaster Rovers striker Billy Sharp collected the player-of-the-month award after his haul of four goals in five games, including one scored in a defeat to Middlesbrough three days after the death of his newborn son.

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