Former England international David Batty has taken the first steps towards initiating legal action against his current employers, Leeds United, following.

The midfielder, who has not appeared once in the reign of under-pressure coach Terry Venables, is angry at recent comments made by the club’s Chairman Peter Ridsdale.

Ridsdale has declared publicly that Batty is no longer capable of playing top-flight football because of theYorkshireman’s knee problems. This opinion has been backed up by Venables, the club’s medical staff and a panel of independent medical advisors.

Batty has since stated that he wants to prove his fitness to Venables, who has seen his side lose its last five home games in the Premiership.

Batty’s agent, Hayden Evans, is demanding to see medical records indicating a persistent knee problem, and also wants to find out who these medical advisors are, andwhether an insurance claim has been submitted by Leeds to back their claims that Batty is incapable of performing at the highest level.

Legal action should begin at the end of the week, following a letter from Batty’s lawyers to the Leeds United board.