Leeds United: Whites linked with Aston Villa star

Barry Bannan in match action.
Barry Bannan in match action.
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Aston Villa’s Barry Bannan is the latest player to be linked to Leeds United as the Championship continue their hunt for a new midfielder, writes PHIL HAY.

The 21-year-old Scot has been touted for an emergency loan move to Elland Road with Leeds keen to strengthen their ranks for the Championship run-in.

United tried without success to add a midfielder to their squad before Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Swansea, and the return of Bradley Johnson from a one-match suspension has not ended Simon Grayson’s search for new faces.

The Leeds boss watched Manchester City’s Michael Johnson in a reserve match against Bolton last Wednesday but is understood to have had doubts about the 22-year-old’s match fitness following a long period on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.

Birmingham City’s Jordon Mutch has been identified as a target of Grayson’s, and Bannan is emerging as another possible loan signing with the Football League’s emergency window less than a month away from closing.

The Scotland international is a product of Villa’s academy and made his senior debut earlier this season. His most recent appearance came at the end of Jauary in a 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers. Bannan previously spent time in the Championship on loan with Derby County and Blackpool.

Leeds already have one Villa youngster on their books after signing right-back Eric Lichaj on a month’s loan before their league game at Bristol City on February 12.

Lichaj was signed to cover for the injured Paul Connolly, whose hamstring strain has ruled him out of United’s last four league fixtures and is making him doutbful for Doncaster Rovers’ visit to Elland Road.

United’s game at Sheffield United on March 19 has been brought forward from 3pm to a 1pm kick-off.

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