Five players likely to leave Leeds, including former Manchester United defender

We look at five players who could be on the way out of Elland Road this summer, as Massimo Cellino looks to revitalise a stuttering Leeds United squad.

Brian McDermott's departure this weekend, followed by extensive talks with players and the remaining staff, suggests that Leeds United are set to enter a new era under Italian supremo Massimo Cellino - a new era that has begun with unpredictability and big changes which, in my opinion, are far from over.

In light of recent talks with players, the Italian owner said: 'I met all the players today and they showed me they wanted to stay at the club. They work for the club, not Massimo Cellino. They showed me respect and have a fantastic professionalism towards the club. We have a better team than we first thought. All the players are hungry to be involved in this new project at Leeds United.'

Despite the claims of the owner, there could be an unprecedented number of outgoings with regards to playing staff at Elland Road this summer. We now have taken a look at who we think are the most likely players to move on from the 'new project'.

1) Lee Peltier

The former Leicester City defender was heavily criticised on Twitter by Leeds fans for a tweet that just read 'Shambles' around the time players were brought back from their holidays.

The 27-year-old is likely to be on the fringes of the Leeds first-team next season, and with Nottingham Forest reportedly interested in his signature. It's hard to envisage a scenario where the Liverpool-born defender will be playing for the Whites in 2014-15.

2) Scott Wootton

The highly-touted former Manchester United defender has been disappointing in his first season at the club, and despite the Championship outfit entering a new era, I don't fancy him to be a part of it.

The 22-year-old spoke to the press on the situation regarding Cellino's meetings, a comment which definitely wouldn't have gone down well with the new boss. 

I believe that unless the new manager specifies otherwise, Wootton would be moved on in the summer to make room for new talent. 

3) Rodolph Austin

Leeds are lucky in the sense they have a number of highly-rated young central midfielder stars, all of whom are more than capable of challenging Austin for his place in the team.

Add that to the fact he is reportedly one of the club's highest earners during a time Cellino is looking to make cuts, and you could say that it doesn't look good for the Jamaican international.  

4) Marius Zaliukas

Brought in on a free transfer from Hearts, the Lithuanian had a strong start to life at Elland Road and quickly became a favourite with the crowd for his whole-hearted performances.

Nevertheless, a string of individual errors in the 6-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday saw the defensive giant lose his place in the team. Since then, he has found first-team football hard to come by and has made just three appearances since that game. 

5) Steve Morrison

The current Leeds number 9 has just returned from a semi-successful loan spell at Millwall, which saw a return of eight goals in 42 games.

Nevertheless, the ownership at Leeds will undoubtedly want to get the previously unwanted players off the wagebill as soon as possible.

So, I think it is very likely Morrison may never touch a Leeds jersey again this summer. In fact, I would be surprised if he isn't one of the first players in the Leeds squad to move on to pastures new. 

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch