Leeds United’s Joe Gelhardt could very well be leaving Elland Road on loan this January if CEO Angus Kinnear’s programme notes for the Brentford game are anything to go by.
Kinnear’s words came amid considerable speculation considering the forward’s short – and long – term future at the Yorkshire club.
It appears that former club Wigan currently lead the race to secure Gelhardt’s services, according to a report from The Athletic last week.
Other Championship sides, including Sunderland, Swansea and Blackburn, are also reportedly interested.
Gelhardt found himself in the Whites squad as they drew 0-0 with Brentford over the weekend yet was an unused substitute.
Kinnear’s programme notes coyly suggested that the youngster could be on the move this transfer window to assist in his development.
“(Georginio) Rutter’s arrival will mean that we will be looking to make some outbound loans before the end of the transfer window,” Kinnear wrote (as per Football League World).
“We believe that being more active in loaning out our emerging talent will be important in ultimately accelerating their ability to contribute to our first team.
“Harry Kane had four different loan spells before he became England’s best striker and Championship experience is a significant step up from competing in Premier League 2.”
With this announcement from Kinnear, it appears almost confirmed that Gelhardt will be loaned out this January.
The question now is: who will he be loaned out to?
Whilst it seems to be Championship strugglers Wigan who are closest to agreeing a deal, they may not have the financial capacity to sign him, if only on loan. Personal terms don’t seem to be an issue with Gelhardt wanting to help his former side escape the drop, but whether they will be able to pay his wages remains to be seen.
Wherever he goes he’ll get more minutes than he is currently receiving at Leeds, with the recent arrival of Georginio Rutter pushing Gelhardt even further down the pecking order.
A loan for this promising youngster is inevitable, but where he ends up could prove interesting.