Blackburn Rovers bound Barry Douglas nearing Leeds United exit, Robbie Gotts' Lincoln City loan deal close

Barry Douglas' time at Leeds United is nearing an end, with a move to Championship side Blackburn Rovers inching closer.
EWOOD BOUND - Barry Douglas is set to leave Leeds United for Blackburn Rovers. Pic: GettyEWOOD BOUND - Barry Douglas is set to leave Leeds United for Blackburn Rovers. Pic: Getty
EWOOD BOUND - Barry Douglas is set to leave Leeds United for Blackburn Rovers. Pic: Getty

The left-back will head to Ewood Park to try and conclude a deal this afternoon and is expected to bring his two-year spell at Elland Road to an end well ahead of tomorrow's domestic transfer deadline.

He joins Robbie Gotts in securing football elsewhere. An agreement has been reached between Leeds and Lincoln City for the 20-year-old midfielder to spend the season on loan with the League One outfit.

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Douglas has found himself down the pecking order in Marcelo Bielsa's squad after an injury-disrupted two seasons. The 2018/19 campaign brought 21 starts, with three separate injuries keeping him out for spells and denying Leeds fans the chance to see the best of a player signed for around £3m from Wolves. Last season he managed just six starts as Gjanni Alioksi and, latterly, Stuart Dallas were favoured ahead of the Scot.

His best showing of the Championship title-winning season came at Ewood Park in July and although Bielsa has not included him in any of his four squads during the current Premier League campaign, he insisted Douglas' usefulness would not be dictated by his absence from the first team.

"If he continues with us he will be a very useful player for our project," said Bielsa.

"He is an impeccable professional, his preparation has been very, very good. He's an integral part of the group here. Just because he hasn't been part of the 18 in the first two games doesn't mean he won't be useful over the course of a whole season."

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Douglas is also a popular member of the dressing room and one of several senior players seen as hugely influential in setting a positive dressing room culture at Thorp Arch and Elland Road, which has helped the squad to meet the demands of Bielsa's regime.

But with no guarantee of first team football and a year left on his contract, the 31-year-old is moving on to pastures new. It's the second time in his career that he has experienced the euphoria of a Championship title win followed by the disappointment of leaving before kicking a Premier League ball, having found himself surplus to requirements at Wolves before joining Leeds.

For Gotts, a loan move has been long in the offing. Despite little game time under Bielsa, he is a player the head coach greatly admires. Several clubs have unsuccessfully made enquiries over a loan since the transfer window opened, but it is only on its penultimate day that a deal has been reached. Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool and Charlton Athletic were all keen on the youngster but Lincoln City present what the player's camp and the Whites believe is the right move.

Manager Michael Appleton's reputation for developing young players - he worked with ex Leeds man Kemar Roofe at Oxford United - and his possession-based style of play were key to the move.

Once the formalities have been completed Gotts is likely to be involved in training tomorrow ahead of the Imps' game at Fleetwood Town on Saturday.