Leeds round-up: Luke Ayling backed for award, blow in Daniel Ayala chase

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Leeds United will be back in action against Cardiff next Sunday.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men will be out to extend their lead at the top of the Championship table following the COVID-19-enforced break in play.

Leeds are currently one point clear of West Bromwich Albion at the top of the table, and they are seven clear of third-placed Fulham.

It seems improbable that Bielsa’s men will again fail to win promotion to the Premier League, but these are remarkable times.

It would, indeed, take a quite remarkable collapse to stop them.

GIVEMESPORT has taken a look at the best headlines surrounding the Elland Road giants ahead of the resumption of play.

Take a look below!

Ayala blow

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Leeds have been targeting Daniel Ayala, according to Football Insider, but he has now been offered a new contract by Middlesbrough.

A previous report has claimed that Leeds will be looking to sign a new centre-back in the summer transfer window, with Ayala identified as a target.

Ayala is out of contract in the summer but Boro are hoping to keep him.

However, Leeds director of football Victor Orta has already engaged in talks with the defender; it remains to be seen if that will sway the 29-year-old.

Regardless, Football Insider reports that the Whites will be looking to sign two central defensive players this summer, whether they are promoted or not.

Fixture rearrangement

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Leeds’ clash with Stoke City at Elland Road has been rescheduled so that it can air on Sky Sports, Leeds-Live reports.

The game will now take place on Thursday, July 9 and kick-off at 5pm.

The following trip to Swansea City will now take place on the following Sunday, and it also has a knock-on effect on the Barnsley home game, which will be played on Wednesday July 15.

Of course, the clash with Cardiff will be on TV, too, kicking off at noon as Bielsa’s men attempt to tighten their grip on the Championship lead.

Luke Ayling backed for award

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Luke Ayling should win the club’s Player of the Year prize, according to former Whites full-back Mel Sterland, per the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The 28-year-old battled injury issues in the first nine games of the campaign but, since his comeback against West Bromwich Albion in October, has been ever-present in the Championship.

The right-back even scored three times in five games before the COVID-19-enforced shutdown.

And Sterland is in no doubt as to why he should be honoured with a gong.

He said: "I think he should get player of the season, 100 per cent.

"I think he has been absolutely magnificent.

"I am not just saying that because I am a right back, I think he has done ever so well.

"When he had his injury, he struggled to get back into it and then all of a sudden he has just taken off.

"He's been magnificent, scoring goals, making goals, defending well and then you think what they paid for him which was next to nothing.”

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