Leeds United: Taylor to survive Elland Road cull

Charlie Taylor
Charlie Taylor
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Left-back Charlie Taylor is likely to be one of the few survivors of the summer cull at Elland Road with Leeds United set to offer the youngster a new contract.

The YEP understands that United want to tie Taylor to an extended deal and retain him for next season amid the expected flood of players out of the club.

Taylor, 20, is on loan at Fleetwood Town and currently involved in League Two play-offs but Leeds are believed to have made efforts to initiate talks about a new three-year contract – despite the continuing absence of a retained list at Elland Road.

United have until this Saturday to make offers to any of their out-of-contract professionals but the majority have been given no firm indication about their immediate futures.

The situation is complicated further by the ongoing wait for face-to-face talks between owner Massimo Cellino and Brian McDermott. The manager, who is contracted to Leeds for another two seasons, is yet to be told by Cellino whether he will remain in post for the 2014-15 term.

More than 10 of United’s senior and junior professionals are poised to reach the end of their deals on June 30 and become free agents the following day.

Cellino is unlikely to keep many of them with the Italian businessman engaged in cost-cutting at Elland Road but Taylor, who has almost completed the three-year contract he signed with Leeds in 2011, has been targeted for negotiations.

The left-back made his United debut at the age of 17, breaking into the first-team in the early weeks of the 2011-12 season, but most of his senior football has come on loan at other clubs.

He spent the second half of last season with Scottish Premier League side Inverness and has been with Fleetwood since August.

The Lancashire side reached the League Two play-offs by finishing fourth in the table and they lead their semi-final against York City 1-0 after the first leg at Bootham Crescent on Monday night. Taylor’s appearance in that match was his 40th of the term. The second leg, with a place at Wembley the prize, takes place on Friday.

Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander talked up Taylor’s ability shortly before Christmas, telling the YEP: “I think a lot of Charlie as a player but I can’t say enough about his attitude either.

“He’s got all the attributes you’d expect of a modern full-back. He can get down the wing, he can cross and create chances.

“But apart from anything else, he knows how to defend and the key point about good full-backs is that they’re good defenders.”

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