Leeds United have fined Charlie Taylor two weeks’ wages over his refusal to play at Wigan Athletic amid confirmation from Tony Pulis that West Bromwich Albion are in negotiations to sign the left-back.
Taylor was called to a disciplinary hearing on Monday after pulling out of Leeds’ squad for their 1-1 draw at Wigan on Sunday and has been hit with the maximum punishment available to the Elland Road club.
The defender was due to start at the DW Stadium after centre-back Liam Cooper twisted an ankle, forcing a late change to Garry Monk’s team, but Taylor informed Monk on Saturday that he had been advised not to play with a summer departure from Elland Road pending.
Taylor, 23, is out of contract this summer and will quit United for the Premier League in a move which is likely to earn Leeds around £4m.
Leeds are entitled to compensation on account of his age, provided they offer Taylor a new deal which matches his existing salary, and the fee will be set by tribunal if United fail to agree a valuation with his next club.
West Brom have been monitoring Taylor for several months and Pulis confirmed this morning that the Premier League side are attempting to finalise a contract with the full-back before his Leeds deal ends on June 30.
Pulis admitted that West Brom face competition for his signature - Liverpool are among the other clubs who have taken an interest in Taylor - but they are understood to be in discussions with United about an early agreement.
The West Brom manager said: “There’s a lot of clubs interested in Charlie Taylor. We’re not the only club interested in him. Obviously he’s been on our radar for a bit.
“It (a compensation award) could go to a tribunal but our club would rather try and sort a deal out with Leeds if we’re going to do it, instead of going to tribunal.
“There’s still a lot of air in that bag before anything is achieved.”
Taylor’s refusal to play at Wigan and make what would have been his 105th appearance for Leeds brought a sorry end to the career of a defending who joined as a nine-year-old and won United’s player-of-the-year award in 2016.
His exit from Elland Road has appeared inevitable, however, since Taylor attempted to force a move last July by submitting a transfer request.
Monk was openly critical of him at Wigan, saying: “There’s no sugar-coating it. Charlie refused to play the game and I think he’s been terribly in this instance. I think he’s been poorly advised all season to be honest, from the outside.
“We’ve tried to guide him and help him. He’s a young lad and a very good lad but he’s a bit naive. He’s acted naively, not with any bad intention, but he’s been terribly advised. To refuse to play the game, as a club and as a manager, is unacceptable.
“I’m disappointed for him because he’s a fantastic lad. I’ve got a lot of time for Charlie. He’s a young lad, not very experienced in these situations, and you need proper guidance. You need people around you to help you do things right.
“He’ll learn from the experience I’m sure but the club cannot have or accept a player refusing to play. It’s not what it should be. The club will have a strong stance on it.”