Leeds United boss reveals Joe Gelhardt talks amid Wigan Athletic interest
Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch says 'internal discussions' have been held regarding the immediate future of Joe Gelhardt - with Wigan Athletic waiting in the wings regarding a loan swoop.
It's understood Latics made an audacious offer to re-sign Gelhardt - who has been struggling for games at Leeds - last week.
Indeed, manager Kolo Toure did little to hose down speculation linking Gelhardt with a sensational return to the DW when asked about the situation.
"It's difficult to speak about all the rumours in the market at the moment," he said. "But you're always looking for players who can improve your team, definitely.
"And he's a really good player, of course he is."
And during his own media conference, Marsch has admitted things will come to a head 'in the coming weeks', with Blackburn, Sunderland, Swansea, Rotherham and Hull also believed to be interested.
“I think there has been internal discussions," he said. "And we will make some decisions in the coming weeks."
The American placed on record his appreciation for how the 20-year-old forward has handled the speculation.
"His attitude has been fantastic,” he added.
Gelhardt moved to Elland Road in the summer of 2020 shortly after Latics were placed into administration by the previous owners.
He was regarded as the jewel in the crown of the Latics Academy, and his departure – while necessary to ensure the survival of the club – was the source of huge disappointment and anger among the fanbase.
After breaking into the first-team fold at Leeds last season during Marcelo Bielsa’s reign, ‘Joffy’ has slipped down the pecking order somewhat this term.
Wigan Today sources understand Latics have made their move, and his past ties – and close relationship with Academy staff such as Gregor Rioch and Peter Murphy – could be their ace in the pack.
Gelhardt’s family base in Merseyside will hopefully also be a pull.
Intriguingly, Latics are also believed to be looking at a return for fellow Academy product Sean McGurk – 12 months Gelhadt’s junior.
The Yorkshire Post – sister title of the Wigan Post – reported McGurk is ‘keen to play more football in the second half of this season, having not featured as much as he would like with the Under 21s’.
McGurk followed Gelhardt to Leeds in the summer of 2021, but he has yet to make a senior appearance.