Leeds United have confirmed their eighth summer signing by securing right-back Luke Ayling on a three-year deal from Bristol City.
Ayling joined United for an undisclosed six-figure fee this afternoon and is in contention to make his debut in Saturday’s Championship clash with Birmingham City at Elland Road.
The 24-year-old - a former Arsenal trainee - made close to 100 appearances for Bristol City and won the League One title there in 2015.
Head coach Garry Monk moved to sign him in the aftermath of Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers.
Leeds started the Championship season in inauspicious fashion last weekend, succumbing to defensive errors at Loftus Road, and a tough afternoon was compounded by a hamstring suffered by first-choice right-back Gaetano Berardi.
Berardi is facing another spell on the sidelines and was sent for a scan by Leeds on Tuesday. Youngster Lewie Coyle started last night’s League Cup tie at Fleetwood Town.
United have also been looking for cover at centre-back having started the campaign with Sol Bamba and Kyle Bartley as their only fully-fit central defenders. Liam Cooper missed much of pre-season with a calf strain.
Ayling started his career at Arsenal, alongside Bartley in the Gunners’ youth-team ranks, but he began his professional career in earnest at Yeovil Town in 2010. He moved onto Bristol City in 2014, featuring regularly as a right-sided centre-back as part of a back three.
Monk told LUTV: "We need to strengthen in areas, defensively for one. Luke coming in is an important signing. He's a good experienced player and a very good professional. He has quality and he's a good addition to the squad."
With Ayling’s move complete, Leeds are working on other potential signings ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Birmingham.
Monk wants to strengthen his midfield but Leeds’ long-running attempt to bring Liam Bridcutt back to Yorkshire have hit another impasse amid a struggle to reach a deal over the settlement of the final year of his £26,000-a-week contract at the Stadium of Light.