Gaetano Berardi has become the latest Leeds United player to agree a new contract, extending his deal at Elland Road to 2020.
The full-back’s previous contract was due to expire next summer but Leeds have moved to tie down an established member of their first-team squad just one game into the new term.
Berardi installed himself as first-choice left-back midway through last season, replacing Charlie Taylor after Taylor suffered an Achilles injury, and he was named in Thomas Christiansen’s side for United’s first match of the Championship campaign at Bolton Wanderers on Sunday.
A dislocated shoulder saw Berardi stretchered off during the first half of that encounter and the Swiss defender is now facing a spell on the sidelines but Leeds softened the blow by agreeing new terms with him yesterday afternoon.
Berardi has become a crowd favourite since moving to Elland Road from Sampdoria in 2014 and overcoming an inauspicious start which saw him sent off twice in his first four appearances.
Sunday’s match took him to within 17 games of his 100th outing for United.
Berardi follows Ronaldo Vieira, Kalvin Phillips, Lewie Coyle, Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Tyler Denton in securing new deals at Elland Road since the end of last term.
A number of other Leeds players are out of contract next summer – Liam Cooper, Rob Green, Eunan O’Kane, Liam Bridcutt and Souleymane Doukara – but O’Kane insisted on Friday that he was relaxed about his situation.
“I’m focused on football,” he said.
“If I perform well enough then the contract issue will be sorted I’m sure.”