Leeds United surprised some of their own supporters on Friday.
With yesterday being transfer deadline day, United fans had minor hope that Victor Orta, Andrea Radrizzani and Marcelo Bielsa would pull a late signing out of the bag.
And given there were links to Todd Cantwell, it wouldn’t have been a major surprise had Leeds added another body to Bielsa’s squad.
But although there were no arrivals, there was, however, a surprise announcement in the form of Gaetano Berardi.
The Whites revealed that the long-serving Swiss defender had signed a new one-year deal to stay at Elland Road until next summer.
Interestingly, Berardi was technically already a free agent, given that his contract expired once the 2019-20 campaign came to a close.
But the 32-year-old suffered a long-term injury just before last season finished, meaning that it ruined his chances of joining anybody on a Bosman.
Berardi was not given a squad number by Leeds this season but, by the same token, they never announced his exit, leading to suggestions he was sticking around in West Yorkshire, something that has now been confirmed.
Here’s how fans of the Elland Road club reacted on Twitter:
This is such a classy gesture from a club that have been making all the right noises on and off the field as of late, with Bielsa’s side winning seven points – and thousands of hearts – for their brave and ballsy return to the Premier League so far.
And what a story it would be if Berardi, who joined the club in 2014, could make at least one top-flight appearance toward the end of the campaign, when is fit again and perhaps when the team has nothing to play for.
It would be a beautiful way for Berardi to end his time at Leeds.