Leeds United: Whites target Stockdale makes shock move to Birmingham City

David Stockdale
David Stockdale
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Birmingham City have completed a Championship coup by signing goalkeeper David Stockdale on a free transfer from Brighton.

Stockdale will move to St Andrews when his contract at Brighton ends on June 30, a surprise destination for a keeper who won promotion to the Premier League at The Amex this season.

Stockdale – a lifelong Leeds United fan – helped Brighton finish second in the Championship, starting all but one of their league games, and he was named in the division’s team of the year after recording 18 clean sheets.

Brighton, however, failed to agree a new contract with him and were resigned to losing Stockdale at the end of this month.

Leeds are understood to have made initial contact with Stockdale’s representatives but did not follow up those discussions with a firm offer.

Birmingham manager Harry Redknapp secured him yesterday on a three-year deal.

Leeds have an established number one in 37-year-old England international Rob Green but the club’s choice of keepers will be reduced if Marco Silvestri looks to leave Elland Road during the transfer window.

Silvestri played only four times this season, all of those outings in cup fixtures, and he admitted before Christmas that he would consider his future if he failed to secure more regular football.

Bologna are among the clubs being linked with the former Chievo keeper, who has 12 months left on his United contract, but his future is unlikely to become clear until United Leeds a new head coach and clear the way for major transfer business to begin.

United have so far made one permanent signing, paying more than £1million to take former loanee and winger Hadi Sacko from Sporting Lisbon on a permanent basis, but other transfers are on hold while the club continue to identify Garry Monk’s replacement as head coach. Leeds are almost three weeks into that process having parted company with Monk on May 25. Initial interest in David Wagner faded quickly after Huddersfield Town won promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-off final and a plan to recruit Reading’s Jaap Stam has not moved forward.

Stam, whose Reading squad lost to Huddersfield at Wembley, has another 12 months on his contract and Reading are attempting to ward off approaches for the Dutchman by extending that agreement ahead of the start of the 2017-18 season.

In the past 48 hours, Victor Sanchez – the one-time Real Madrid midfielder – has emerged as a potential contender for the manager’s job at Leeds on account of past links with United board member Ivan Bravo and director of football Victor Orta.

Sanchez began his managerial career at Deportivo La Coruna and before experiencing a short stint in charge of Olympiacos and six months as head coach with Real Betis. Betis sacked him at the end of the recent La Liga season.

Leeds, meanwhile, are still waiting to finalise their pre-season schedule amid a delay in confirming a fixture for a planned foreign tour and a home friendly at Elland Road on the weekend before the start of the new Championship term.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy at Elland Road on Saturday. Picture by Simon Hulme

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