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Essaid Belkalem, linked with Leeds United, joins US Orleans for free

Algeria's Essaïd Belkalem celebrates at the end of the match

The Algerian international has joined the French Ligue 2 side.

Algeria's Essaïd Belkalem celebrates at the end of the matchAlgeria's Essaïd Belkalem celebrates at the end of the match

Reports in Algeria recently suggested that former Watford defender Essaid Belkalem could be a free agent option for Leeds United.

La Gazette du Fennec reported that Belkalem mutually agreed to terminate his contract with the Hornets recently – as he was clearly not a part of the plans at Vicarage Road anymore.

Algeria's Essaïd Belkalem celebrates at the end of the matchAlgeria's Essaïd Belkalem celebrates at the end of the match

A reported move to Romanian side Dinamo Bucharest had collapsed earlier in the week and LGdF suggested Leeds United could be an option for the player.

However, that will clearly not be the case. Belkalem has headed elsewhere. The 27-year-old, who played for Algeria at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, has agreed a deal with French Ligue 2 side US Orleans.

The club confirmed the signing on their official Twitter page yesterday as Belkalem heads to France for the first time in his career on a one-year deal, with the option for a renewal should he prove a hit with the side who were promoted from the French third tier last season.

Leeds are said to be on the lookout for central defenders available for free, after Sol Bamba had his contract terminated by mutual consent – leaving the club with Kyle Barltey, Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson as centre-back options.

But Belkalem will now clearly not be the solution.

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