Leeds United expecting to announce homegrown talent's imminent transfer exit

-Credit: (Image: MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Less than 12 months after signing a four-year contract with Leeds United, Charlie Cresswell is set to move to France with Toulouse. The Whites were asking for £4m to secure their centre-back’s services in January and it is understood the Ligue 1 outfit have agreed to a deal in that region.

The 21-year-old was at Stadium de Toulouse yesterday and his transfer is expected to be announced imminently. Joe Rodon’s return to Tottenham Hotspur, Liam Cooper’s uncertain future and Ethan Ampadu’s midfield potential had left Cresswell as one of the few natural centre-backs under contract going into July.

However, despite that clearer path to first-team opportunities in 2024/25 and another season in the Championship ahead, Daniel Farke has authorised Cresswell’s sale. United’s relegation in 2023 was thought to be Cresswell’s ticket to regular minutes for his boyhood club.

READ MORE: Leeds United fired starting gun on Archie Gray bidding war with Joe Rodon and Oliver Skipp twist

However, Rodon quickly established himself as the club’s premier centre-back after arriving on loan and Cresswell began to miss out on matchday squads, not even making the bench. In January, his omission from a heavily-rotated FA Cup line-up at Peterborough United left the writing on the wall.

Farke would admit the defender was unhappy with his lack of opportunities, while the manager had not been impressed with his attitude in training. Clubs were invited to bid for Cresswell, but none met United’s £4m demands and he stayed after clearing the air with Farke.

Cresswell returned to matchday squads for the rest of the season, but he ended the year with 137 league minutes. That was less than Ian Poveda (who left in January), Luis Sinisterra (who left in September) and Joe Gelhardt among many others.

After signing his new contract last August, Cresswell said: “I’m still young, I’m only 20, I’m delighted and happy to be here and it shows the confidence the club and staff have in me by giving me this deal and hopefully I can repay the faith this season. I want to play a big part this season, I want to achieve big things in front of the fans and make the people around me proud.”