Leeds United manager Simon Grayson will look to seal a fresh loan deal for George McCartney before Tuesday's visit to Cardiff City after the delayed opening of the transfer window ruled the left-back out of the club's game against Middlesbrough.
McCartney will be missing from United's starting line-up for the first time in 18 matches tomorrow having reached the end of his three-month deal from Sunderland.
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Grayson is negotiating an extension of McCartney's loan with Sunderland manager Steve Bruce but English clubs are unable to begin finalising transfers until Monday morning, despite the transfer window technically opening on January 1.
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Leeds' game against Middlesbrough is swiftly followed by a meeting with Cardiff City, a match which will have a significant bearing on the higher reaches of the Championship, and Grayson is hopeful that
McCartney might be eligible to make the journey to south Wales.
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The Northern Ireland international has already completed a maximum 93-day spell allowed under the Football League's emergency loan rules, and Leeds will only be able to retain him next month on a half-season loan or a permanent deal.
Grayson admitted that financial factors would prevent any chance of a full-time transfer, but he said: "We're talking to Sunderland to see if there's a deal to be done. George has loved his time here and he's done well for us. I'd like to bring him back to the club.
"His 93-day loan ran out after Portsmouth and the Football League's offices don't open on New Year's Day. But it's the same for everyone else and I know that other clubs would be wanting to do deals.
"It's a possibility that he'll be available for Cardiff if negotiations go well with Sunderland and George. I know he's happy and he's stated that he wants to come back but there's quite a bit of work to be done."
McCartney has been ever-present in Grayson's line-up since arriving at Elland Road before Leeds' derby with Sheffield United on September 25, but Grayson will choose a replacement left-back from Andrew Hughes, Ben Parker and Federico Bessone tomorrow.