Leeds United: We can work it out - Johnson

Bradley Johnson urged Leeds United to return to the negotiating table and resolve the impasse over his contract after the collapse of talks between him and the club came to a head on Saturday.

Johnson's first appearance at Elland Road since rejecting a final offer from Leeds ended in derisory fashion as the midfielder was jeered from

the pitch during the 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace.

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A crowd of more than 25,000 vented their anger at his recent refusal to extend a deal which expires at the end of this season. The 23-year-old was transfer-listed on November 18 after informing Leeds he would not be taking up improved terms.

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Discussions between United and Johnson's advisors appear to be dead but Johnson said he still wanted to commit to a longer deal at Elland Road and had not given up on the possibility of extending his career there.

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"There's been a breakdown in communications with my contract and I want to get it sorted," Johnson said. "It's not me being greedy. I just want to be treated as an equal. I want to stay here.

"When I came, I said I wanted to get Leeds out of League One and I've done that. Now I want to get them into the Premier League.

"I'm not being big-headed but I've helped get the club to where they are. I love the club, I love the fans and I love the players. I want to be here with them and they all want me to sign. Every day they're asking me what's happening but it's down to my agent and the club. Hopefully it can be sorted."

However, Leeds have no plans to return to him with another offer and Johnson is likely to be sold in January to prevent his departure on a free transfer next summer.

Club chairman Ken Bates suggested in Saturday's match-day programme that Hull City have already approached Leeds about a possible swap deal, a proposal which United dismissed out of hand because, in Bates' words, "Simon (Leeds manager Simon Grayson) doesn't fancy any of their overpaid squad."

Grayson has named Johnson in his starting line-up for three successive games since the club took the decision to make him available for sale but the midfielder was the target of fierce criticism from supporters following his substitution in the second half on Saturday.

"It's hard for me to take," Johnson said. "Everyone has the right to express their opinions but it's unfair because no-one knows what's going on behind the doors.

"I can hear the booing and I'm not going to say I don't. But it doesn't affect me. As long as I'm here I'm going to give 100 per cent and if I'm not here at the end of the season then I'll still love Leeds. I've had the best time of my career here.

"I don't want the situation dragging on. I don't want to be booed in every game for the rest of the season. I want it sorted out but I'll wait as long as it takes."

Grayson said he was not surprised that a number of fans chose to target Johnson but he insisted he would not drop the former Northampton player on the basis of criticism from the terraces.

"I've made my stance clear by playing Bradley in the past few weeks," Grayson said. "He's not played at home since he turned down the contract and when you turn down a contract, you leave yourself open to criticism.

"As a player you've got to realise that we've got supporters who make

their opinions clear. You do run that risk and I'm sure it will have played on his mind when he made his decision about the contract. But since turning it down he's deserved his place. He's now got to win the supporters over. He's done well while I've been here but there's an offer on the table that he's declined, and we won't be improving it. It's down to him to decide whether he wants it or not."

Fulham's Stefan Johansen and Leeds United's Gianni Alioski battle for the ball.

Leeds United: Alioski believes no new faces needed at Elland Road