Charlie Taylor’s agent is remaining silent over claims by Massimo Cellino that the left-back and his representatives are avoiding talks about a contract extension at Leeds United.
Cellino told the Daily Mail that he was confident of renewing the deal held by young Leeds midfielder Lewis Cook but doubted that Taylor would agree to extend a contract which expires in a year’s time.
Cook and Taylor are two of three academy-produced players, along with Alex Mowatt, who are about to enter the final 12 months of their existing deals at Elland Road.
Cellino said talks were underway with Cook’s agent but claimed Taylor had not been answering calls from the club about his deal.
The talented full-back, who said in April that he would be with United next season “unless anything drastic happens” in the meantime, has attracted attention from several Premier League clubs including West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Crystal Palace.
Taylor, 22, is two years into the three-year deal he received from Cellino in the summer of 2014 and his reputation has grown dramatically in that period, culminating in him receiving the club’s player-of-the-year award at the end of the 2015-16 season. His wage at Elland Road is understood to have increased towards the end of that campaign owing to an appearance-related clause in his contract and Cellino cast doubt over the possibility of Taylor accepting further offers from the club by saying the youngster is “going to be a problem”.
Taylor is represented by Colin Pomford, an agent who also works on behalf of former United defender Sam Byram.
A fall-out between Cellino and Pomford contributed to the bitter situation which saw Byram quit Leeds for West Ham United in January, six months before the end of his deal.
Cellino told the Mail: “Charlie is going to be a problem, I think his agent is the same as Sam. Taylor doesn’t return the call.”
Pomford was approached for comment on Cellino’s remarks but has not responded.
Cellino, however, appeared more optimistic about tying Cook, the Football League’s young player of the year, to new terms. Leeds repelled attempts by Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe to sign Cook in January and the club expect him to stay at Elland Road for the forthcoming Championship season.
“With Cook, he’s got good agents and is a nice kid,” Cellino said.
“I think we are not going to have any problem.”
Mowatt, meanwhile, has not received any contact from United about extending his contract.
The 21-year-old – United’s player-of-the-year for 2014-15 – struggled for form during the recent campaign, starting 22 games and scoring only twice.