Leeds United manager Brian McDermott expects Davide Somma to continue his career with another club next season, despite Leeds offering to see through the striker’s latest bout of rehabilitation.
McDermott admitted that the renewal of Somma’s contract at Elland Road was “realistically not going to happen” with the injury-prone South African recovering from a third knee operation.
Somma underwent surgery on damaged cartilage two weeks before the end of the Championship season, consigning him to a further spell of treatment at a delicate stage of his career with Leeds.
The 28-year-old is rapidly approaching the end of his three-year deal at Elland Road and was told in May that Leeds would not be immediately extending his contract.
The club did invite him to continue training at Thorp Arch, however, and McDermott is likely to give him the chance to feature in Leeds’ pre-season programme in an attempt to resolve the fitness problems which have sidelined Somma for most of the past two years.
McDermott said: “He’s a great guy who’s been really unlucky. I spoke to Harvey (Sharman, United’s head physiotherapist) and we agreed that we wanted to do the right thing by him.
“We’ll look after him, try to get him fit and if something comes up for him elsewhere, we’ll try to make sure that nothing stops him taking up the opportunity.”
Leeds named Somma on a 10-man released list announced 24 hours before their last game of the season at Watford but United added that “the South African international will have the opportunity to join in pre-season training with a view to assessing his fitness”.
The remark indicated that he might yet have the chance to win another deal but McDermott said: “I think realistically that’s not going to happen. You never say never in football but that’s not necessarily how we were thinking.
“At the moment he just needs to concentrate on getting fit and over all the injuries. You feel for him.”
Somma made fleeting appearances last season having missed the whole of the 2011-12 term through knee ligament damage but his belief that the worst of his problems were behind him was wrecked by his latest bout of surgery.
Leeds will supplement their choice of forwards with new signings before August, and Noel Hunt and Kevin Doyle have both attracted McDermott’s attention. Click here to register and have your say on the Leeds United stories and issues that matter to you