Leeds United complete deal to sign defender Laurens De Bock

Laurens De Bock battle for the ball with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Laurens De Bock battle for the ball with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
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Laurens De Bock has sealed his transfer from Club Brugge to Leeds United after signing a four-and-a-half year contract at Elland Road.

Leeds have paid in the region of £1.5m to secure De Bock and worked to push the left-back’s move through quickly this week after losing Luke Ayling to injury for the rest of the season.

Ayling’s absence following ankle surgery will see current left-back Gaetano Berardi move across replace him on the right side of defence, potentially clearing the way for De Bock to make an immediate debut away at Ipswich Town on Saturday.

De Bock, 25, was on Leeds’ radar ahead of the January transfer window but the severity of the injury suffered by Ayling in a goalless draw against Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day and am existing shortage of options at full-back led them to approach him last week.

The former Belgium Under-21 was out of favour at Club Brugge after five years with the club and Leeds tempted De Bock to ignore rival bids from Italy and England with the offer of a deal to 2022.

De Bock was under contract with Brugge until 2020 having extended his deal there in 2016.

Signed from Lokeren in 2013, he made more than 130 appearances for Brugge and won the Belgian top-flight title, the Belgian Cup and the Belgian Super Cup. His arrival, meanwhile, could signal the end of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson loan at Elland Road. The 20-year-old left-back is halfway through a year-long deal from Manchester United but has played only six times and struggled through an hour of Sunday’s FA Cup defeat to Newport County, is first outing in almost three months.

Leeds were widely expected to cancel his loan this month.