Leeds might have conceded fewer goals (nine) than any other Championship team this season but there is a feeling that Marcelo Bielsa’s side could do with just one more option at centre-back. After all, beyond Ben White and the increasingly injury-prone Liam Cooper, there is a lack of real depth while the club’s tendency to concede goals from set pieces is becoming a real concern.
Ayala, who stands at 6ft 2ins, could perhaps fill a Pontus Jansson-like role in Leeds’ squad while strengthening their Achilles heel.
The Echo claims that Leeds have been following Ayala for a while with director of football Victor Orta knowing the one-time Liverpool youngster from his time at the Riverside. And Middlesbrough are aware of Leeds' interest in a player whose contract is due to expire in the summer.
Last season's play-off semi finalists are also set to make a 'formal approach', meaning they will more than likely make contact with Middlesbrough to discuss the possibility of doing a deal.
Parachute payments are over and the spectre of Financial Fair Play is looming over the Riverside, meaning Boro may be forced to cash in on one of their best-paid players in January to avoid losing him on a free.
And given that Middlesbrough are aware of Leeds’ interest, this is a transfer saga that is only set to rumble on over the next few weeks.
Boro paid £350,000 to sign Ayala from Norwich (Gazette) and they will be expecting to make a big profit, even if his contract only has a couple of months left to run.
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