Championship club chief confirms Leeds United rejected permanent sale of £5m loan exit

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Leeds United midfielder Darko Gyabi re-joined Plymouth Argyle on loan last week.

Leeds United knocked back enquiries from Plymouth Argyle regarding a permanent transfer for Darko Gyabi before eventually sending the midfielder out on loan.

Gyabi’s loan move to Plymouth was confirmed last week, with the 20-year-old returning to Home Park after seeing last season’s spell there cut short due to injury. A promising start to life with the Pilgrims ended due to a groin problem that required surgery, ending Gyabi’s season in March as he returned to West Yorkshire for rehabilitation work.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But after being named as Plymouth’s Player of the Month for February, Gyabi clearly impressed enough for those in charge at Home Park to commit to another season on loan. In fact, the Championship club even touted the idea of a permanent move, but Leeds were not interested.

"One of our methods of success over the last few years is having had players on loan, and then being able to go back to buy them in some cases,” Argyle director of football Neil Dewsnip told Plymouth Live. "Darko wasn't on the market to be bought. Leeds didn't encourage that discussion. We did have a little nibble at that but it wasn't really on their agenda, but to get him back on loan was the next best thing we could do, and that's what we have achieved.

"We all thought he contributed massively last year so the fact he was injured at the end of the season, that was really disappointing for me and Nance (first team coach Kevin Nancekivell) not to be able to select him. So to get him back is great, I'm really looking forward to seeing him play."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Gyabi has two years left on his Leeds contract and at 20-years-old, still has the potential to make an impact at Elland Road in the future, hence the club’s resistance to any permanent exit. How much Argyle would have offered is unknown but United paid Manchester City £5million for the midfielder back in 2022, following Kalvin Phillips’ £42m move the other way, and will not be keen on taking any kind of loss on a player with a secure mid-term future.

Leeds are currently down on last season’s midfield options, having sold Archie Gray to Tottenham for £40m last week. They are yet to replace the academy prospect and while reinforcements are expected to come this summer, it seems there is an option to recall Gyabi in January if needed.

"The best we can do, which we have achieved, is to design the agreement with an incredibly short period that Leeds United can request him back,” Dewsnip added. “Leeds United are more than okay with that. I don't want to mislead the fans, of course, but I would be incredibly surprised if they recall him."

Gyabi was the third of four Leeds players to leave on loan already this summer, following Jack Harrison and Sonny Perkins out the door temporarily. Sam Greenwood followed not long after, also remaining in the Championship after deciding to spend the season at Preston North End.