Leeds United have revealed that they turned down a request from Carlisle United to keep striker Mike Grella on loan for the rest of the season.
Leeds sanctioned an extension to Grella's temporary spell at Brunton Park this week, renewing his initial month's loan until the start of January, but the Championship club were unwilling to agree to a longer deal.
Grella was sent north last month after dropping down the order of forwards at Elland Road, but United's reluctance to sacrifice him beyond the turn of the year will encourage the 23-year-old to believe that he continues to feature in the plans of manager Simon Grayson.
His move to Cumbria was a means of finding first-team football for a striker who had no immediate prospect of featuring regularly.
His outings for Leeds this season amount to two substitute appearances.
Grella has already played six times for Carlisle, scoring twice, and he will help to see the club through to the midway stage of the League One term.
Carlisle are fourth in their division, two points short of an automatic
Leeds chairman Ken Bates said: "Carlisle wanted to extend his loan until January and they wanted to extend it for the rest of the season.
"We declined but we like him up there because he's playing football and scoring goals. It keeps him in the right frame of mind, as it did with Davide Somma (at Lincoln City) last season.
"Having a lot of strikers and keeping them fit and happy by playing is a good position to be in."
Leeds have inserted a 24-hour recall clause into Grella's deal, though the return from injury of Ross McCormack and Billy Paynter is likely to prevent the need to exercise it.
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