Leeds United confirm defender transfer as fee details revealed in Championship switch

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Leeds United have confirmed the sale of young defender Leo Hjelde to fellow Championship side Sunderland on a permanent deal.

Hjelde joined Leeds from Scottish Premiership giants Celtic in the summer of 2021 and has made a handful of appearances at Elland Road but has been deemed surplus to requirements by manager Daniel Farke.

The Norwegian youth international had 18 months remaining on his Elland Road contract and this season played a peripheral role in the first-team setup. Hjelde has not featured under Farke since August when United were beaten on penalties by Salford City in the Carabao Cup Second Round.

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The 20-year-old has just 45 minutes of Championship action to his name this term, having been substituted at half-time in Leeds' season opener versus Cardiff City. Farke has instead chosen Sam Byram and Junior Firpo as his starting left-backs this term with Hjelde featuring more frequently for Leeds' Under-21 group.

His final appearance in a Leeds shirt came in the 7-0 defeat by Jong PSV in the Premier League International Cup last Thursday. Hjelde moves to the Stadium of Light in what has been reported as a £2 million transfer, although officially the fee Leeds will receive is undisclosed. Hjelde joins former Leeds duo Niall Huggins and Jack Clarke in the north-east, both of whom are valued members of Michael Beale's first-team squad on Wearside.

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