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Leeds United: Player contract talks on the agenda

Simon Grayson expects contract talks with members of Leeds United's squad to begin imminently after reiterating his desire to see key players with dwindling deals tied to longer terms.

United vowed to tackle contractual issues this month with more than half-a-dozen of their senior professionals into the last year of their deals.

That list includes Luciano Becchio, Neil Kilkenny, Bradley Johnson, Richard Naylor and Patrick Kisnorbo.

Davide Somma, Andrew Hughes and Shane Higgs will also become free agents next summer if United fail to agree or decide not to offer them new terms.

Discussions with the likes of Becchio were suspended during the transfer window to allow Leeds to concentrate on acquiring new players, but Grayson is keen to avoid the scenario which saw out-of-contract

Jermaine Beckford depart Elland Road for nothing in May.

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Grayson said: "The window's just shut but I'm sure it's on the agenda for (chief executive) Shaun Harvey to speak to their representatives."

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Asked if the situation was a concern, Grayson said: "We'll try to keep the players but if they feel they're going to move on to bigger and better things by leaving on a free transfer then we can't do much about that – apart from offer deals which we think is their value.

Bosman

"Players are within their rights to turn any offers down and walk out at the end of their contracts. In the summer we brought in one or two players who were on free transfers and that's what the Bosman ruling has done."

Grayson confirmed that negotiations with Kisnorbo were unlikely to take place until the defender had moved closer to full fitness after the ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered in March.

Grayson said: "It has to be a two-way thing. We've got to be loyal to him to try and sort something out because he's been fantastic for us but he's got to understand that we can't really offer him a contract until he's proved that he's back to full fitness.

"But I've got a relationship with Paddy where we can be honest with each other and do whatever we can."

 
 
 

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