Managing Leeds United: Joe Rodon signs and Crysencio Summerville leaves as Farke plans rebuild

Crysencio Summerville is one of many Leeds United players linked with a move away from Elland Road this summer
-Credit: (Image: Robbie Stephenson/PA Wire.)

Leeds United face another season of Championship football following their defeat to Southampton at Wembley last weekend. Daniel Farke will be hopeful of leading another promotion charge next term, with eyes firmly fixed on a spot in the top two having narrowly missed out to Leicester City and Ipswich Town.

The Whites will look to welcome some fresh faces to Elland Road over the next couple of months, but face a nervous wait to see the financial implications of their loss to the Saints. It has been reported that the Yorkshire club owe £190million in transfer fee instalments to other clubs, with £73m of that expected to be paid by the end of next month.

Ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, Leeds splashed the cash across all areas of their side. Joel Piroe, Ethan Ampadu and Ilia Gruev were the most high-profile permanent arrivals, with Joe Rodon and Jaidon Anthony arriving on loan from Premier League clubs.

The priority for this window may rely on bringing in attacking reinforcements. Given Leeds' financial situation, the attacking trio of Crysencio Summerville, Wilfried Gnonto and Georginio Rutter all cited as potential players that could leave the club this summer.

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Archie Gray and Illan Meslier are among a few other Whites players who face uncertain futures amid transfer speculation. So, with that being said, Leeds Live has looked at what business Farke should complete this summer to ensure this season's story is not repeated.

Summerville and Rutter move on

Given Leeds' financial predicament, it is inevitable that some of their top performers from this season will be forced to leave the club to bring in the funds needed to comply with the EFL's financial regulations. Reports suggest that up to £100m needs to be raised from player sales having failed to secure Premier League football for the upcoming season.

The club have yet to announce their retained list following the conclusion of the previous campaign, but it seems likely that Liam Cooper, Sam Byram and Jamie Shackleton will all depart from Elland Road upon the expiration of their current deals. Luke Ayling's exit from Leeds was also confirmed earlier this week and this, of course, will free up expenditure on the wage bill.

But along with that, Summerville, Gnonto and Rutter have all been linked with moves away from the Yorkshire club, which would of course be a huge loss, but generate the funds needed to sweep their financial worries firmly under the carpet.

The 22-year-old Dutchman has been cited as a target for a number of Premier League clubs after scooping the Championship Player of the Season award earlier this year. The likes of Chelsea and Liverpool are reportedly keen on securing his services, with Leeds valuing him at around £30-£40million.

Reports have also emerged surrounding Rutter's future at Elland Road despite only moving to Leeds at the start of last year for a club-record transfer fee. The forward had 26 goal contributions across all competitions last season, with the 22-year-old receiving big interest from top flight clubs.

Gnonto is another player who has been linked with a move away from West Yorkshire, with Everton reportedly keen to bring him to Goodison Park. The Toffees tried to sign the Italian international at the start of this campaign as they saw two tabled bids rejected, with the winger refusing to play for Farke to try and force a move to the Merseyside club that ultimately failed to transpire.

Eighteen-year-old Gray is another player that has enjoyed a breakthrough year for the Whites this term, making 52 appearances in his debut season. The academy graduate signed a new long-term deal earlier this year, but has been linked with a move to several top clubs, including Bayern Munich and Arsenal.

Leeds will also welcome back five players currently out on loan to Thorp Arch in the coming weeks. Brendan Aaronson, Max Wober, Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca and Diego Llorente secured moves across Europe to gain regular game time having been surplus to requirements at Elland Road.

Allowing Aaronson, Kristensen and Llorente to leave the football club, will again, free up a significant amount of expenditure on the wage bill. Jack Harrison is another player who has been linked with a move away from the Yorkshire club after a successful spell at Everton, with Sean Dyche keen to make the move permanent.

So should those players leave the club, it will generate significant revenue to either reinvest back into the squad or comply with the EFL's financial regulations, on top of what the 49ers Enterprises gives Farke to spend in the summer window.

Three news faces arrive at Thorp Arch

After Ayling's departure from Elland Road, the first area to quickly identify would be the full-back position. Should Gray remain at the club, bringing in a right-back will allow the 18-year-old to operate in his natural midfield role, continuing his growth within the first-team.

In recent weeks, the Whites have been linked with Borussia Dortmund defender Marius Wolf according to Sky Deutschland. The 28-year-old is out of contract with the German side this summer and would be a shrewd addition to Farke's defensive unit.

The Germany international has made 31 appearances in all competitions for the eight-time Bundesliga champions, helping Edin Terzic's side reach the Champions League final against Real Madrid this Saturday. With almost 200 appearances in the Bundesliga, Wolf would arrive at Elland Road with great pedigree and experience to bolster Leeds' hopes of promotion.

With two central defenders likely to depart this summer, it seems imperative that another experienced defender is welcomed to Yorkshire to ensure a solid base can be built on, and how better than Tottenham Hotspur defender, Rodon. The 26-year-old made 50 appearances for the Whites across all competitions, helping keep 18 clean sheets in that time.

The Welsh international is out of contract with the North London club at the end of next season, but it seems unlikely he will force his way into Ange Postecoglou's plans. Spurs planning a mass overhaul in the summer, and the club are seemingly happy with the partnership of Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven that has blossomed during their first campaign together.

Bringing Rodon back to Elland Road on a permanent basis makes logical sense having worked under Farke for the past nine months, allowing for a seamless transition back into the first-team fold.

And lastly, Leeds will need to welcome a midfield presence that is capable of scoring goals, with reports emerging of a potential target last season coming to fruition. Ao Tanaka was on the Whites' radar ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, but saw a bid rejected by Fortuna Düsseldorf.

Across 30 2. Bundesliga appearances this term, the 25-year-old has often operated in the central midfield role, but has shown the versatility to play further forward or protecting the defence. Tanaka has averaged an 88.5% pass completion rate per 90 minutes this season, along with a 71.8% success rate with the tackles he has made.

In all competitions, the Japan international managed 12 goal contributions, bettering his first two campaigns in Germany. And for Fortuna Düsseldorf, they are set for another season in the second tier of German football having lost to VfL Bochum in the Bundesliga play-offs, therefore a move to Yorkshire could be possible given Tanaka has just a year left on his current deal with Fortuna Dusseldorf.