Liam Bridcutt admits he wants to stay at Leeds with the Yorkshire club opening talks with Sunderland about extending his stay at Elland Road until the end of the season.
Bridcutt, has been a revelation since joining the Whites on loan from Sunderland in November, and his initial spell at the club ended after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with MK Dons.
Amid talk Brighton are planning a bid to re-sign the player from Sunderland, Leeds reportedly remain hopeful that Sunderland will honour an unwritten agreement between the clubs for Bridcutt to remain in Yorkshire until the Championship term concludes in May.
The midfielder joined Leeds in the last week of November and has been highly influential in his short period with the club, contributing to an unbeaten run which extended to seven games on Saturday.
United head coach Steve Evans said a fresh deal for Bridcutt was the “first one I want in the door” during a January transfer window in which he hopes to sign up to four new players and Bridcutt appears willing to take up the offer, despite suggestions that his former club Brighton will bid to sign him permanently this month.
The 26-year-old said it was “time to move on from Sunderland” after 18 mixed months with the Premier League side and claimed his time with Leeds had returned him “to my normal self”.
“This officially was my last game,” Bridcutt told the Yorkshire Evening Post after making his eighth appearance against MK Dons. “I’m hoping to extend it to the end of the season and I want to extend it. Leeds want me here and it’s just waiting on Sunderland.
“For me, game time is the most important thing. The manager (Evans) has been brilliant with me and given me a great opportunity to play. You can see that when I’m playing I’m back to my normal self.
“It’s about time for me to move on from Sunderland and I want a new challenge.
Reports in Monday’s Sun, suggest Sam Allardyce is planning a mini-clearout of his Sunderland fringe players this month. Former Leeds loanees Will Buckley and Danny Graham are on the list, while Charis Mavris, Bridcutt and Valentin Roberge are also available.