Leeds defender Luke Ayling has joined Sky Bet Championship rivals Middlesbrough on loan for the rest of the season.

Ayling was a key figure in Leeds' Premier League return under former manager Marcelo Bielsa in 2020 and during their three-year stay in the top flight, but has lost his starting place under current boss Daniel Farke.

Leeds said: "The 32-year-old moves to the Riverside Stadium for the remainder of the 2023/24 campaign, at which point his existing contract at Elland Road will come to an end.

"Joining the Whites from Bristol City in the summer of 2016 for a fee of £500k, Luke, or as he is affectionately known, Bill, would go on to become one of the best ever signings in the club's history."

Ayling has made 268 appearances in all competitions for Leeds and was a regular starter under former managers Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom.

The Lambeth-born right-back was one of several players to thrive under Bielsa when they won automatic promotion in 2019-20, having missed out in the play-offs the previous season.

Leeds added: "Not only on the pitch, Ayling was also exemplary off the field too, taking part in visits in the heart of the community and named a 'PFA champion', while stepping up to do media duties, despite having a stammer, even in the toughest of situations."

Ayling, who progressed through Arsenal's academy, made over 180 appearances in total for Yeovil before joining Bristol City in 2014.

Another player has also left Leeds on loan, with Plymouth reuniting young midfielder Darko Gyabi with their new head coach Ian Foster in a deal until the end of the season.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Darko Gyabi fends off Manchester City's Cole Palmer in a game at Elland Road last season.Darko Gyabi fends off Manchester City's Cole Palmer in a game at Elland Road last season. (Image: PA.)

Gyabi, 19, and Foster worked together with England in the 2023 Under-20 World Cup in May.

The teenager has made five Leeds appearances since joining from Manchester City for a £5million fee in July 2022.

The loan deal is subject to English Football League approval.