Joel Ekstrand says he was offered Leeds United contract, criticises club's handling of knee injury

Watford's Joel Ekstrand (R) in action

The Swedish defender says he pulled out of negotiations.

Watford's Joel Ekstrand (L) in action with Bolton's Craig DaviesWatford's Joel Ekstrand (L) in action with Bolton's Craig Davies

Swedish defender Joel Ekstrand has been commenting on his failed move to Leeds United this weekend.

The 27-year-old left Watford this summer when his contract with the club came to an end. He left the club after missing the entire 2015-16 season with a serious knee injury and has not played since suffering the injury in March 2015.

Watford's Joel Ekstrand (R) in actionWatford's Joel Ekstrand (R) in action

But he is still highly regarded in the Championship and seemed on his way to Elland Road.

Then, at the last minute, Leeds reportedly withdrew from negotiations – as reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post.

But this is not how Ekstrand tells the story.

Speaking to Helsingborg Dagblad he said Leeds were trying to use his knee injury against him, so he pulled out of negotiations:

“I was offered a contract after the medical examination.

“Afterwards the negotiations were tough. The survey found that my knees looked different, which is obvious when one knee has been operated on for a cruciate ligament injury. They tried to use it against me. Therefore, it was as it was.”

Watford's Joel Ekstrand aand Middlesbrough's KikeWatford's Joel Ekstrand aand Middlesbrough's Kike

He went on to make it clear that he has other options on the horizon:

“I exclude nothing and am open to suggestions, but I would prefer it (to stay in England). I have adapted myself well to English football.

“But there is much to see. Had I been allowed to decide, I was ready with a new club three months ago.”

Swansea's Kyle Bartley looks dejected at the end of the gameKyle Bartley looks dejected at the end of the game

Ekstrand would have been a risky signing from Leeds, considering his knee problems, and instead they have brought in Kyle Bartley on loan from Swansea City for the season.

It will however be interesting to see just where Ekstrand does end up this summer – and if he can send Leeds a message whilst there.

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