Speaking to Football Insider, ex-Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has hinted that the club should offer a ‘week to week‘ deal for out-of-contract defender Gaetano Berardi if the season runs beyond June – stating that he has been an ‘integral‘ part of the squad.
The Swiss defender, who has made 18 Championship appearances this season, 11 of them as a starter (WhoScored), is out of contract at the end of this term – with the coronavirus football suspension currently threatening to derail his potential final few months at the club.
Overall, Berardi has made 150 outings for the Whites since arriving from Sampdoria back in 2014 (Transfermarkt) – with pundit Whelan suggesting that he is an ‘integral‘ squad player who should at the very least be handed a ‘week-by-week‘ contract as a reward for his loyalty and to ensure Marcelo Bielsa’s side retain their squad depth if the current campaign is prolonged.
“What you can do is a week-to-week contract,” he told Football Insider.
“Staying on the same amount of money and if the season goes on longer than your contract you sign a week-to-week deal. It is as simple as that. That is the most sensible thing for the football club and the player.
“They still get paid rather than leaving the football club. A week by week deal on the same money is not going to break them but it is also fair on the player. It is important to keep a player who has been an integral part of the squad all season.”
Indeed, taking into account his last impressive outing in the 2-0 victory over Huddersfield when he made four clearances and three tackles (WhoScored), it’s fair to say that Berardi could deserve a new contract given how much strength in depth he could potentially offer.
Leeds will need to ensure that they have the appropriate defensive cover for the remainder of the season, should it resume and go beyond June when the player’s contract is set to expire, so keeping the Swiss on a short-term deal makes sense.
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