Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn has placed Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam at the top of an ambitious list of summer transfer targets.
The Scotland international was included in the recommendations made by Redfearn to United’s board as part of his planning for the new Championship season.
Redfearn is not certain of being in charge for the 2015-16 term with his contract set to expire next month but he has tabled a list of high-earning options in the hope of mounting a challenge for promotion if owner Massimo Cellino decides to extend his deal.
Adam, 29, is one of Redfearn’s prime targets, though the midfielder would be forced to take a major pay cut at Elland Road and it is not clear if Stoke will make him available during the forthcoming transfer window.
He struggled for appearances during the first half of this season and was said to be close to leaving the Britannia Stadium on loan before Christmas but Stoke have used him regularly during the Premier League run-in and he made headlines with a brilliant 60-yard strike at Chelsea a month ago.
Adam recently ruled out a close-season move, saying: “Some people seem to think I’m going to go in the summer but I’m not going anywhere. I’ve still got a year on my contract and I’ll see it out.”
Redfearn’s suggested targets also include Burnley centre-back Jason Shackell – a defender who United’s boss showed an interest in ahead of the January window – and Queens Park Rangers winger Matt Phillips.
With Leeds heading for a mid-table finish after a difficult season, Redfearn spoke last week about the need to sign “four or five players of the right quality who understand this division.”
“That’s a no-brainer to be honest,” he said. “Anyone who understands this level would say that.”
Adam and Phillips worked at Blackpool with Steve Thompson, the assistant whom Leeds suspended last month.
Redfearn has not spoken to Cellino directly about his plans and the pair are still to hold talks about Redfearn’s future as head coach. Cellino returned to the club this week after serving a three-month Football League ban.
United are awaiting to learn if the Financial Fair Play (FFP) transfer embargo imposed on them by the League in January will be lifted.