Kyle Bartley formed one half of perhaps the best centreback pairing in the Championship with Pontus Jansson for Leeds United last season. Leeds made Jansson’s transfer permanent after activating the release clause in his loan deal and signed the defender to a contact back in February that is set to start on July 1st. Leeds even dealt with a FIFA complaint from Torino over the transfer, but resolved it earlier this month.
From HITC comes word that the print edition of The Sunday Mirror is reporting that Swansea City is willing to let Kyle Bartley transfer for a fee of £7.5 million. With former Leeds manager Garry Monk at Middlesbrough, rumors abound that Monk will be looking to for the defender to join him once again.
Now while Boro have profits from last year’s Premier League failure plus parachute payments available, it is unknown if Steve Gibson will be interested in splashing out the cash to bring in another defender when they already have a number under contract already. Middlesbrough had a fine defensive record last year, and if Ben Gibson stays put, Bartley may be surplus to requirements at the Riverside Stadium.
Leeds United would obviously be interested in signing Bartley again, but could they afford to sign him at such a high price? £7.5 million is way out of the price range of any Championship club, even if Radrizzani was to pump funds into the club, the issue of UEFA Fair Play requirements might hinder efforts to overspend to try to get to the Premier League, which is a terrible idea anyway.
Should the club spend all that money on Bartley? Or is Swansea City anticipating a bidding war between one of Monk’s old clubs and his new club? Either way, £7.5 million is a crazy amount to spend by a Championship club on a player, even for a great Championship player such as Bartley. Even if Leeds could afford it, which they likely cannot, given the other off-season needs, would spending that much really pay off? Getting back to the Premier League is the obvious goal of the club. Loaning Bartley with an option to buy if the team gets into the Premier League would be the best option, but there is no guarantee that Swansea would agree to that sort of deal.
Leeds should try to get Bartley, but not at that price. If Bartley wants to come back to Leeds, then maybe a deal can get done, but if Swansea City want Premier League prices for Championship players, then Leeds should look elsewhere for another central defender.