Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka could be next to join the Leeds exodus.
Kewell told Leeds he would not consider renewing his contract until after the end of this season. Leeds were knocked out of the FA Cup by first division Sheffield United this week and they are still not safe from relegation in the Premiership. The club’s only route into European football next season will be if they qualify for the much-derided Inter Toto Cup.
Leeds have offered the Australian a œ50,000 a week, five-year deal. But with Kewell’s current contract expiring in 2004, Leeds may be forced to cash in on their prized asset now, rather than see him leave for free in a year’s time.
Manchester United have reportedly expressed an interest in Kewell, who with 12 goals is Leeds top scorer this year. He would be an ideal replacement for Ryan Giggs, should the Welshman ,as rumours suggest, be bound for Italy.
Internazionale and Milan are also in the hunt for Kewell’s signature should they failto lure Giggs to the San Siro.
Leeds still have serious financial problems and would hope to receive œ10 million for Kewell.
Fellow Australian international, Mark Viduka is also concerned with the situation at Leeds and has asked the club for talks about his future.
Leeds could expect a similar fee for the big striker if he too were to walk out of Elland Road.
This news could further disillusion manager Terry Venables, who has seen the squad he inherited from David O’Leary disappear before his eyes. Lee Bowyer, Jonathan Woodgate, Olivier Dacourt and Robbie Fowler have all moved on since Venables took charge eight months ago.