Retired midfielder Andy Couzens has claimed his former club Leeds will have already started talks with Patrick Bamford over a contract extension.
Bamford has been in fantastic form in 2020/21, leading the line as Leeds have settled back into the top flight. He has netted 14 times and provided six assists thus far, and needs to net just twice more to equal his best return for the Whites. His performances have gone some way to silencing his critics, who were unconvinced he would cope at the top level.
Instead, he has fired Leeds to a relatively comfortable position with nine games to go. They have picked up 39 points, putting them 11th as things stand, and their place in next term’s Premier League looks secure.
As a result, Bamford’s stock has considerably risen and he is now a firm favourite at Elland Road. However, the 27-year-old’s deal is set to expire in summer 2022 and his displays could be attracting interest from elsewhere. Chelsea are among those linked.
Therefore, Leeds will need to move to tie down their number nine beyond next June. And that’s a piece of business that Couzen’s believes should be at the top of the priority list.
“I think it is something Leeds need to sort as soon as possible,” Couzens told Leeds United News.
“It is something Leeds will be looking at in this present moment in time as well. It depends on what the boy wants. I don’t think there are any problems with the financial side. Can he hit his targets at Leeds? I think he can.”
Couzens added that he is confident Leeds will be able to keep the former Middlesbrough man: “I’m pretty sure talks will be underway already to get that sorted one way or another.
“Leeds do it behind closed doors now. We will find out about it via a Tweet, it will be as quick as that. I like that about Leeds.
“That is something we will be doing, Leeds will not be foolish enough to let him go – or let him run his contract down to let him go in a year’s time.”
Bielsa future could influence Bamford
Although he predicts Bamford will stay where he is, Couzens did speculate Marcelo Bielsa’s future could be a consideration for the striker.
The Argentine manager has helped him find the best form of his career, however Bielsa is yet to confirm his own plans.
The ex-Athletic Bilbao boss only signs short-term contracts and his current deal will expire at the end of this season. Although, he has hinted that he does plan to remain at Leeds for a little longer.
And Couzens says Bamford may want some certainty over who will be in charge before committing to anything himself.
“He [Bamford] is well travelled, played a lot of football at a lot of clubs. He knows what Leeds United is about, he is enjoying his football. Having spoken to the lad a couple of times, it is about football – not money.
“He might want assurances Bielsa will be around for the next year or so – as a player that is something he might want. I would be getting him signed, he might be comfortable where he is.”