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Steve Evans wants Sam Byram to stay at Leeds and questions if right-back can find bigger club

The 22-year-old's contract situation has seen him left out on the periphery recently.

Steve Evans has admitted that he wants Sam Byram to remain a Leeds United player beyond the summer, before questioning whether the full-back could find a bigger club, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports.

The 22-year-old's contract is due to expire at the end of the season, and having rejected a new deal recently it appears that Byram is heading for the exit, either during the January transfer window or when his deal runs out. 

With the Yorkshire Evening Post reporting that Evans has ruled out selecting those not fully committed to the Whites, Byram's time at Elland Road appeared destined to end acrimoniously after such a blistering start. 

However, Evans explained that he wants the right-back to remain with the Championship side, as it is the best place for him.

"I'm still an optimist, I always have been an optimist in my life and I'm hopeful that Sam will want to stay at Leeds United," he said.

"I really do look from outside of the situation of the contract. I am not involved in it but I wonder where he's going to go that is bigger and better than we are. I just don't see it. I have very much got my Leeds United hat on."

With United languishing in the bottom half of the division, it will be difficult for Evans to convince Byram that staying put, rather than moving to the Premier League - with Everton and Sunderland recently linked (via Liverpool Echo) - is the right move for him, especially as he has remained on the sidelines for much of Evans' tenure.

Against Queens Park Rangers last month, fans were chanting for Byram to be brought on, and the reception he received when he did come on against Hull a week later highlighted how much the supporters want the situation to be resolved, and should have acted as a message to Evans.

However, against Charlton the pecking order was very much outlined, and would have done little to repair the damaged relationship between Byram and the club. Starting right-back Scott Wootton was replaced by the returning Gaetano Berardi, and it was only after the Swiss defender was stretchered off that Byram was brought on. 

With Berardi set to miss the next eight weeks (via Yorkshire Evening Post), it appears that Evans has one final chance to convince Byram that he genuinely does want the exciting defender to stay. 

As much as Evans refuses to admit it, it appears that there are several better options currently available to Byram, and the manager may soon be left regretting that he did not do more to actually convince the academy graduate that Leeds could be the best place for him. 

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