Leeds United: Monk makes move for Bristol City defender Ayling

Leeds target, Bristol City defender Luke Ayling, tussles with want-away United defender Charlie Taylor.  PIC: Tony Johnson
Leeds target, Bristol City defender Luke Ayling, tussles with want-away United defender Charlie Taylor. PIC: Tony Johnson
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Leeds United were last night on the verge of signing Bristol City’s Luke Ayling on a three-year deal.

The 24-year-old right-back, who can also play in the centre of defence, has undergone a medical with Leeds and looks set to become their eighth summer signing in the next 24 hours.

Head coach Garry Monk made his move for Ayling in the aftermath of Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers.

United started the Championship season in inauspicious fashion, succumbing to defensive errors at Loftus Road, and a tough afternoon was compounded by a hamstring injury suffered by first-choice right-back Gaetano Berardi.

Berardi is facing another spell on the sidelines and was sent for a scan by Leeds on Tuesday. Youngster Lewie Coyle started last night’s League Cup tie at Fleetwood Town. United have also been looking for cover at centre-back having started the campaign with Sol Bamba and Kyle Bartley as their only fully-fit central defenders. Liam Cooper missed much of pre-season with a calf strain.

Ayling started his career as a trainee at Arsenal, alongside Bartley in the Gunners’ youth-team ranks, but he began his professional career in earnest at Yeovil Town in 2010.

He moved on to Bristol City in 2014 and made 80 appearances for the club in the past two seasons. He was part of the City squad which won the League One title in 2015.

With Ayling’s move close to completion, Leeds are also working on other potential signings ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Birmingham CIty at Elland Road.

Monk wants to add to his midfield but Leeds’ long-running attempt to bring Liam Bridcutt back to Yorkshire has hit another impasse amid a struggle to reach a deal over the settlement of the final year of his £26,000-a-year contract at the Stadium of Light.

Felix Wiedwald.

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