‘In love’ Leeds United loan signing open to return next year

Kyle Bartley. PIC: Tony Johnson
Kyle Bartley. PIC: Tony Johnson
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Kyle Bartley has left the door open to a return to Leeds United by admitting he “fell in love” with the club during his season on loan at Elland Road.

The centre-back described speculation about his future as “a difficult question for me” as he prepared to rejoin Swansea City but gave a clear hint that he would be open to another opportunity in Leeds after an impressive year with the Championship club.

Bartley, who has a year left on his contract at Swansea, played 50 times under head coach Garry Monk and will be a major transfer target at Elland Road this summer if Monk negotiates an extension to his own contract.

Swansea’s willingness to listen to offers for Bartley is likely to be dictated by the outcome of their fight to remain in the Premier League, however, and Bartley said: “It’s a difficult question for me because I’ve got a lot of respect for my team at Swansea, and the manager and chairman.

“I can’t say too much but what I can say is that I’ve loved every single second of this year. I’ve fallen in love with the players, the staff, the fans, the club. It’s been brilliant. That’s as far as I can say.”

Monk made his own intentions clear over the weekend, marking out Bartley as a priority signing should he secure a new deal as head coach.

“Kyle’s been tremendous this season,” Monk said. “He’d be the first to tell you that this has been by far his best season – the best football he’s ever played.”