Leeds United: Silvestri under threat as Whites look for British number one
Marco Silvestri's place at Leeds United is under threat with the club planning to sign a British goalkeeper before the start of next season.
Rotherham United’s Lee Camp and Derby County’s Lee Grant are two of the players being considered by Leeds amid clear signs that new head coach Garry Monk will install a domestic number one at Elland Road.
Silvestri has been United’s first-choice for the past two seasons and is eight games away from his 100th club appearance but his better performances have been undermined by repeated mistakes.
The 25-year-old was new to England when Leeds signed him from Chievo in the summer of 2014, one of the earliest transfers of Massimo Cellino’s reign as United owner.
Silvestri is halfway through a four-year contract and he implied at the end of this season that he would stay with Leeds for a third campaign, tweeting a message with the hashtag ‘#seeunextseason’. United’s plans, however, could encourage him to seek a return to Italy.
Leeds are looking for a first choice more suited to the Championship and have identified Camp and Grant as viable options.
Both keepers are into their 30s and have extensive experience of England’s second-tier.
Camp was named as Rotherham’s player of the year at the end of the recent campaign while Grant was more peripheral in a Derby side which reached the Championship play-off semi-finals, playing 11 times as understudy to Scott Carson. They are under contract at their current clubs until next summer.
Leeds have an existing alternative to Silvestri in Ross Turnbull but Turnbull played only once during the 2015-16 term and suffered a broken ankle in October. He underwent two operations but is likely to be fit for the start of pre-season training at the end of this month.
A new keeper is one of a number of priorities on Monk’s list of intended transfers.
Leeds are one of the the clubs chasing prolific Oxford United forward Kemar Roofe and Manchester United striker Ashley Fletcher, and they are expected to bring in at least one new centre-back during the summer window.
The YEP understands that United are interested in Bournemouth defender Tommy Elphick, a 28-year-old who was an integral part of the Cherries’ promotion from the Championship in 2015.
His recent campaign in the Premier League was affected by injury but several Championship sides are keen to take him from Dean Court.
Bournemouth have been attempting to extend his contract, which expires next summer, but reports on the south coast indicate that Elphick is unhappy with the length of the extension being discussed.
Aston Villa bid £3million for Elphick earlier this week and are working to beat rival sides to a deal.