Leeds United: Veteran midfielder Brown’s staying for another season

Michael Brown in match action.
Michael Brown in match action.
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Michael Brown looks set to remain at Leeds United for a third season after securing an extension to his contract.

The United midfielder has activated an appearance-related clause in his deal, earning him an additional 12 months at Elland Road.

Brown’s existing contract expires in June but the terms of the agreement reached between him and Leeds last summer will allow him to stay with the Championship club for the 2013-14 campaign.

Brown turned 36 this year, however, and despite the guarantee of another year at Elland Road, his future could still come under discussion in the weeks ahead as United prepare for a summer of upheaval.

Leeds are managerless at present after parting company with Neil Warnock on Monday and academy boss Neil Redfearn has been named as caretaker while United weigh up Warnock’s replacement.

The majority of their prominent senior players are under contract next term but the arrival of a new manager will place question marks over certain members of the squad after a term in which Leeds have fallen a long way short of the play-offs.

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Brown has played 30 times for United since August and started 21 games, including Warnock’s last match in charge against Derby County on Monday evening.

The ex-Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was originally signed by Simon Grayson in the summer of 2011 but he made more appearances under Warnock, the boss he worked with for several years at Bramall Lane.

Brown spent a short spell out of contract last summer after seeing out his initial deal with Leeds but Warnock eventually re-signed him on reduced terms in July.

The agreement included a clause which would extend Brown’s stay until 2014 if he made a stipulated number of outings this season.

The midfielder has not discussed his future but talking on Tuesday in the aftermath of Warnock’s exit, he said: “We’ve all got to look forward now, wait for the new manager, get to the end of the season as best we can and then look forward to next season.

“That’s the main aim now. The season’s filtering to an end and we’ve got to be ready in pre-season.”

United have a small number of players nearing the end of their contracts this season but most are surplus to requirements at Elland Road.

The group includes Paul Rachubka and Patrick Kisnorbo, both of whom are out on loan, while defender Leigh Bromby – appointed this week as temporary Under-18s coach with Redfearn and Richard Naylor committed to first-team duties – is in the final throes of a four-year deal.

Leeds will have a difficult decision to make over Davide Somma, the South African international who has lost the past two seasons to serious knee problems.

Somma signed a three-year contract with Leeds in October 2010 but has made only one competitive start since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign and is not expected to feature in any of the remaining Championship matches.

As it stands, he will become a free agent in July unless Leeds opt to gamble on his fitness and tie him down once more.

His most recent appearance came as a substitute in United’s FA Cup fourth-round win over Spurs on January 27.