Leeds United: Austin: I should have left United in January

Sunderland v Leeds United.'United's Rodolph Austin.'4th January 2015.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Sunderland v Leeds United.'United's Rodolph Austin.'4th January 2015.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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FORMER LEEDS UNITED captain Rodolph Austin has revealed his frustration at not leaving the club in January - with tough new rules on work permits for foreign players now blocking his return to England.

Austin, 30, was freed by Leeds at the end of last season, just four months after club turned down an offer of £500,000 from Wigan Athletic in the January transfer window - with his Elland Road deal expiring at the end of the campaign.

The Jamaican captain had hoped to resume his career in England with a number of Championship outfits, including Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough, Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest all linked with moves.

The Owls have reportedly offered the midfielder a return to Yorkshire, but stringent new rules restricting the number of overseas players in England football look to have scuppered a move for Austin, much to his frustration.

Speaking in the Norweigan newspaper BT, based in Bergen, Austin has revealed his dismay, while adding that he may consider a return to former club Brann Bergen, who sold him to Leeds for a six-figure fee in the summer of 2012.

Austin said: “I am grateful that I got to be in Leeds, and I have nothing bad to say about the team.

“But I should have left them in January. But this is football.”

And on a possible return to Bergen, due to the impasse regarding a move back to England, he added: “I love Bergen and the fans, and one should never say never in football.

“The economy is not so important. I spoke to Sports Director (Rune Soltvedt) this spring, and I’ll give him a reply within a few days.

Austin also has interest from clubs in Turkey and the USA, although the blocking of a route back to England is a source of considerable frustration, according to his agent.

He said: “Rudy has spent the summer playing in the Copa America and then helping Jamaica get to the Gold Cup final.

“He has proved himself as a genuine top Championship performer, there were six big clubs who wanted to sign him.

“But we found out yesterday that the new rules mean they won’t allow him a new work permit, which has been a big disappointment.

“His son was born here, Rudy only had two years to stay before he qualified for citizenship and he really wanted to stay and make a life in Britain.

“But there is nothing we can do about it with these new rules. It’s just a shame he has been caught up in them.”

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