Leeds United

Leeds United


Exclusive: Liam Cooper expected to leave Leeds as stalemate over new deal is revealed

Leeds United captain Liam Cooper has failed to agree a new deal

Leeds United captain Liam Cooper has failed to agree a new deal

Leeds United club captain Liam Cooper is expected to leave Elland Road this summer after 10 years service, with the player and the club failing to reach an agreement over a new contract, sources have told TEAMtalk.

The Whites paid an initial £600,000 to Chesterfield for Hull-born Cooper back in summer 2014 and has seen it all at Elland Road, playing under 14 different managers, ranging from the sublime in Marcelo Bielsa, to the ridiclous in Dave Hockaday. Racking up an impressive 284 appearances in that time, many of which as captain, the now 32-year-old has served Leeds United with distinction through a decade of highs and lows.

But with his deal at Leeds expiring over the summer, Cooper finds himself at a career crossroads and facing up to life away from the club he supported as a boy.

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Ironically, Leeds have offered Cooper a new deal to stay, and the word from the club is that, on the day the vast majority of their players returned to pre-season training, they are still awaiting an answer from Cooper and other players such as Jamie Shackleton and Cody Drameh, both of whom also fell out of contract.

Daniel Farke used Cooper sparingly last season, with the long-serving centre-half limited to just 19 appearances in all competitions, a tally that included just eight starts in the Championship.

And with the fit-again Pascal Struijk, the returning Joe Rodon and the versatile Ethan Ampadu all ahead of him in the pecking order, Cooper is very much seen as the traditional squad player these days.

Leeds and Liam Cooper unable to agree terms on new deal

Nonetheless, Leeds’ failure to secure promotion to the Premier League prompted a change of heart from the club, who were set to part ways with the centre-half had they returned to the top tier of English football.

However, that failure – first after unfortunately seeing their 90-point tally not doing enough to secure automatic promotion, and then missing out at Wembley in the play-off final – prompted a change of heart from Leeds, who announced on their retained list early last month that Cooper had indeed offered a new deal.

According to our information, Cooper has been offered a new one-year deal by Leeds, taking him through to summer 2025. The club retain hopes and ambitions of promotion in the upcoming season and don’t want to commit to too-long a deal for a player they were happy to release this summer had that objective been achieved.

Farke recognises Cooper is a hugely-respected figure on and off the field at Leeds and having his experience to count on is not taken for granted.

But Cooper is, understandably, holding out for a longer deal and has made it clear he is looking for a two-year arrangement.

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As a result, while their offer to him remains on the table, it has not yet been signed and they are awaiting a response.

However, sources have told TEAMtalk that, as it stands, Cooper is expected to leave with the impasse unlikely to result in an agreement being reached.

Cooper had interest in services last summer from Saudi Arabian second tier side Al-Qadsiah, though they have since earned promotion to the Pro-League and it remains to be seen if their interest remains.

Hometown team, Hull City, where Cooper started his career, as well as Blackburn Rovers, have also both been linked, though as it stands we’ve not been informed where the player may end up at this stage if, as expected, his Leeds career does come to a halt this summer.