Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Leeds ready bid for Championship’s ‘No 1 star’ with Bielsa comments key

John Swift, Reading midfielder in Championship action v Stoke

Leeds United are reportedly intent on making a move for John Swift in January – with Marcelo Bielsa a confirmed fan of the Reading midfielder.

Swift has been an influential figure for Reading already this campaign. With eight goals and six assists to his name in 16 appearances, it’s easy to see why he’s a man in demand. As such, it’s little surprise to see the talisman attracting a huge amount of interest from teams both in the Premier League and the Championship.

And with the 26-year-old out of contract at the end of the season, a number of clubs are sensing an opportunity. Indeed, as per the Sheffield Star, Burnley, Wolves and Sheffield United are all considering moves.

However, it is Leeds who are reportedly leading the chase, with reports claiming a tempting offer could be put before the Royals.

That will give Reading with plenty to think about. Talks over a new deal have failed to reach an agreement. And with Swift able to leave on a free transfer just six months later, they must reach a decision on his future.

Selling him now could prove to put paid to their hopes of reaching the play-offs. The Royals are currently 16th heading into the latest international break. But such is the condensed stature of the Championship, Reading are just four points shy of the top six.

However, they are running the risk of missing out on millions were he to then leave on a free.

Leeds, Wolves and Burnley sniffing out deal for John Swift

The classy Reading star is out of contract next summer and has plenty of clubs keen ahead of the January window

Indeed, with Leeds being tipped to launch a move, Bielsa is well aware of the talents of Swift. And he’s a man regularly dubbed ‘the No 1 star in the Championship’.

Speaking in February 2020 to LeedsLiveBielsa said: “Swift is a great player.

“I value him a lot. He is a player who appears suddenly in attack and the same in transition between defence and attack. But he’s especially good when he passes from the defence to the attack.”

Leeds in market for new midfielder

Despite the very-much welcome return to action of Adam Forshaw prior to the international break, Leeds are still reportedly in the market for a new midfielder.

The 30-year-old started his first league game in over two years on November 7. That was following an problematic hip injury and complications caused by his comeback as Leeds managed the situation carefully.

However, after a starring role against Leicester, he earned wholesome praise and the man of the match award.

Leeds old boy Jermain Beckford was certainly impressed.

“To know that he has been out for as long as he has. To have set-back after set-back and problem, after problem,” Beckford said.

“It would have been a breath of fresh air. Obviously, we have seen little snippets of him. He has had little cameo appearances this season.

“But to have started a game against a team as big and as good as Leicester City… He stood out and didn’t just blend in. It doesn’t surprise me because I know the type of player he is.”

Leeds are also being linked with a fresh move for Huddersfield’s Lewis O’Brien amid claims Town may now have to sell.