Leeds United end Ekstrand interest

Yorkshire side end interest in ex Watford centre back.

Leeds United end Ekstrand interest
Leeds ended their interest due to fitness concerns (photo: Getty)

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds United have pulled out of a proposed deal to sign Joel Ekstrand.

The former Watford centre back left Vicarage Road last month when his contract expired, with the Swedish international having spent four years with the club after moving from Udinese in the summer of 2012.

The Italian side are also owned by Watford club owners the Pozzo family who made Ekstrand one of their first signings once they had assumed control at Vicarage Road in 2012. The deal was initially a one-year loan deal but it was made permanent the following summer after an impressive year at the heart of the Hornets’ defence.

Fitness issues

He has not been seen in the first team since March 2015 when he suffered a career threatening cruciate ligament injury against Ipswich Town at Portmand Road.

This unfortunate incident occurred just two months before Slovisia Jokanovic’s side secured promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 8 years.

It is these concerns over the long term fitness of Ekstrand that has put off new manager Garry Monk and the Leeds hierarchy from snapping up the free agent.

Robins also pull out

Bristol City were also reported to have held talks with his agent but sources in Bristol say the Robins have also cooled interest in the Swede for similar reasons to their Yorkshire counterparts. 

City are said to favour a move for Icelandic centre back Hordur Magnusson as Lee Johnson looks to build his own squad for a championship campaign down at Ashton Gate

Ekstrand plays the waiting game

Ekstrand, for his part, started his career at local club Lunds BK before moving to Helsinborgs where he had established himself as a regular before moving to Italy. It’s from there that the Pozzo family decided to move him to English football - where he will sit and wait for more offers to come his way.