Leeds United were discussing the fate of Andy O’Brien today after the defender’s irreparable fall-out with boss Simon Grayson.
United intend to resolve O’Brien’s long-term future this week, with an angry Grayson warning that the defender will “never play for me again” after refusing to take part in Saturday’s game at Burnley.
O’Brien was absent from a 2-1 victory at Turf Moor, having told Grayson on Friday that he no longer wanted to be part of United’s first-team plans.
The 32-year-old – signed by Leeds from Bolton Wanderers less than a year ago – looks likely to face disciplinary action from the club, and United are weighing up their next move with the Football League’s emergency loan market set to close on Thursday.
West Ham United were strongly linked with a loan bid for O’Brien last week, though that speculation is not thought to be behind the centre-back’s decision to rule himself out of Grayson’s squad.
Neither the club nor O’Brien have commented on the precise reasons for last week’s astonishing developments, but Leeds could consider loaning him out in the short-term with Grayson adamant that he will not field the defender at any stage of his tenure as United manager.
O’Brien is under contract with Leeds until the summer of 2013.
Asked if he might attempt to resolve his differences with O’Brien, Grayson said: “No. This is up to him and while I’m here he won’t play for me again.”
The controversy surrounding O’Brien overshadowed a sensational win at Turf Moor, secured by Robert Snodgrass’ 89th-minute goal.
The victory lifted Leeds into the Championship’s play-off zone, six points short of the division’s second automatic promotion place.