Leeds United tonight began the rebuilding of their squad by releasing seven senior players and six junior professionals.
Michael Brown, El-Hadji Diouf, Danny Pugh and Luke Varney were among the experienced players culled as United launched a major clear-out at Elland Road.
As reported by the YEP this week, a new deal has been offered to 20-year-old left-back Charlie Taylor – currently on loan at Fleetwood Town – and development-squad defender Afolabi Coker is also in line for an extended stay with Leeds.
United have taken up options to extend the contracts of goalkeeper Alex Cairns – the club’s understudy throughout this season – and centre-back Ross Killock.
But all of the senior players who are due to move on from Leeds at the end of June will depart the club.
Goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown, defender Adam Drury and midfielder Paul Green have been told that their services are no longer required.
Drury and Green finished the season on loan at Bradford City and Ipswich Town respectively, and Varney saw out the Championship term at Blackburn Rovers, a club he joined temporarily with a view to a permanent deal.
Leeds have not commented on whether any of their under-contract players have been officially transfer-listed.
The six young professionals released are Simon Lenighan, twins Nathan and Lewis Turner, Richard Bryan, Smith Tiesse and Gboly Ariyibi.
The exodus from Leeds, which was finalised by Italian owner Massimo Cellino in the absence of manager Brian McDermott, is likely to trim around £3m from United’s £18m wage bill.