Leeds United plug pulled on transfer at the 11th hour after player's change of heart

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

A change of heart from Charlie Cresswell has seen him pull the plug on a transfer to Toulouse from Leeds United. The 21-year-old visited France over the weekend ahead of a proposed move agreed in the region of £4m.

The Whites had been expecting to announce his move over the coming days, but Cresswell has changed his mind and will now return to start pre-season at Thorp Arch. There are another three years to run on the academy graduate’s contract, but other suitors are likely to test the water with Cresswell before the end of the transfer window.

Cresswell’s knock-back comes on the day Joe Rodon, one of those who blocked his first-team path last season, advanced his return to Elland Road. Tottenham Hotspur have agreed to sell the Wales international for around £10m off the back of a £40m package for Archie Gray in the other direction.

READ MORE: Leeds United and Tottenham progressing in transfer talks on deals for Archie Gray and Joe Rodon

United’s relegation in 2023 was thought to be Cresswell’s ticket to regular minutes for his boyhood club. 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.”