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Leeds should consider cashing in on Premier League-linked Jansson, says Grayson

00:31 IST 04/06/2019
Pontus Jansson Leeds United 2018-19
The former manager thinks selling the defender could be a necessary evil for the club, who have "really bright" youngsters in the squad

Leeds United should consider selling star centre-back Pontus Jansson and allow youngsters the chance to impress, according to former manager Simon Grayson.

Marcelo Bielsa could face a fight over his most talented players following the failure to win promotion to the Premier League.

Young winger Jack Clarke has been linked to Tottenham, while Aston Villa are rumoured to be monitoring midfielder Kalvin Phillips.

Top scorer Kemar Roofe is also entering the final season of his contract and Grayson advised his ex-employers to focus first and foremost on retaining their crop of young prospects.

He thinks selling Jansson, who has been linked with Premier League clubs including Wolves and Newcastle United as well as Benfica, would not necessarily be a bad decision.

"There are other players I would want to keep ahead of Pontus Jansson," Grayson told Omnisport. "People like Kalvin Phillips and Jack Clarke, the younger players who can be the bedrock of Leeds for the next few years.

"I think Jansson does well when he concentrates on what he is there to do, in terms of being a defender

"Of course, they want to try and keep hold of them if possible, but players have been sold in the past to finance the next group of players.

"Roofe has proved he is goalscorer and Phillips, with his versatility and age, his ability on the ball, he is such a key player for what Leeds have done this season.

"I think he has a really bright future in front of him and let's hope they can keep hold of him."

It could be a period of upheaval at Elland Road with Qatari Sports Investments, the group that controls Paris Saint-Germain, reportedly in talks to acquire at least a minority stake from owner Andrea Radrizzani.

Fresh investment would boost the Yorkshire club's bid to end a 15-year absence from the Premier League but Grayson, whose Leeds side sat second at Christmas in 2010, believes they might already be there had Bielsa been more aggressive in the transfer market.

Leeds failed to land top target Daniel James from Swansea City in January and surrendered second spot to Sheffield United, before losing out in the play-offs to Derby County.

"I think personally I would have strengthened in January," Grayson said.

"When I was in charge of Leeds I wasn't given that opportunity. I think Bielsa was given that opportunity, but he just didn't want to do it.

"That was his decision, but I just felt they were a couple of players short of getting over the line."