Danny Pugh is vying for an immediate appearance at Brighton tonight after completing his transfer to Leeds United.
The midfielder has joined Leeds on an emergency loan from Stoke City, and United will sign Pugh, permanently when FIFA’s winter transfer window opens at the start of January.
United manager Simon Grayson identified Pugh as a key target before the August transfer deadline and a deal with Stoke was finalised yesterday, in time for the 28-year-old to fly to the south coast with the rest of Grayson’s squad.
The transfer brought Pugh back to the club where he previously played between 2004 and 2006, and Grayson revealed the funds raised through the recent sale of Max Gradel to St Etienne had helped to secure a six-figure signing.
Grayson said: “Danny’s going to give us that bit of experience we need. He’s a versatile lad who can play left-back or on the left side of midfield and he’s been here before so he knows what this club is about.
“It’ll become a permanent transfer on January 1 and I could have done with him here 10 days ago. We were close until (Stoke boss) Tony Pulis changed his mind at the last minute.
“But I’ve been hanging on for this opportunity and the money we got from selling Max has been invested in bringing Danny to the club.”
Pugh made 50 league appearances for Leeds before leaving to join Preston North End five years ago, and Stoke paid £500,000 to take him to the Britannia Stadium after their promotion to the Premier League in 2008.
He is likely to feature at Brighton this evening and Patrick Kisnorbo is also available after serving a one-match ban during Leeds’ midweek Carling Cup defeat to Manchester United.
●United’s Championship game against Birmingham will take place at St Andrews on Wednesday, October 26 (KO 7.45pm).