Leeds United still in discussions over 29-year-old's signing as short and medium-term deadlines set
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The 29-year-old free agent left Carrow Road at the end of last season and initially began training with Leeds last month. He has since featured in three of United’s friendly fixtures and could earn a contract at Elland Road seven years on from leaving the club.
Byram joined West Ham United in 2016 before moving on to Norwich in 2019, but over the course of four years in Norfolk has struggled for fitness and form.
The YEP understands Byram has impressed at Thorp Arch, displaying positive signs on and off the pitch, and so far has not experienced any injury problems from training with the squad, or in the aftermath of Leeds’ pre-season matches.
With Leeds’ first competitive game of the season fast approaching, Byram would need to be registered by this Friday, August 4 in order to be eligible to face Cardiff on Sunday.
Leeds are in no rush to make a decision on Byram, though, as his free agent status means the club can feasibly wait until the end of the transfer window which would allow medical and coaching staff to assess the defender over an extended period.
Byram’s fitness is set to be a key factor in whether he will be offered a contract or not. If he is able to demonstrate a durability that convinces head of medicine and performance Rob Price and manager Daniel Farke that he could cope with the rigours of Championship football, it is possible Leeds will offer terms.
“The most important topic for Sam is that his body is fit and ready to go,” Farke said last month. “I was quite pleased with him in the last 30 minutes today, he came in a difficult spell when we were a bit under pressure off of Monaco and I think he had a solid start to life here in pre-season and the most important topic is that he stays fit.”
While Friday’s registration deadline serves as a short-term limiting factor, Leeds are in no rush to expedite their final decision on Byram, which could come once the transfer window closes. Discussions surrounding Byram’s future are still taking place at Thorp Arch and a verdict will be provided in due course.
Byram represented Leeds 143 times between 2012 and 2016, scoring ten goals. He has made 30 league appearances over the past two seasons for the Canaries; 15 apiece in the Championship and Premier League.