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Leeds United: Mac joy at swoop for Manchester United’s Wootton

Scott Wootton. PIC: PA

Scott Wootton. PIC: PA

  • by Phil Hay
 

Brian McDermott thanked Leeds United for a welcome show of support last night after the club completed the capture of young centre-back Scott Wootton from Manchester United.

McDermott’s long wait for his fourth signing of the summer ended yesterday evening (August 20) as Wootton passed a medical and put pen to paper on a three-year contract at Elland Road.

The highly-rated 21-year-old will go straight into United’s squad for Saturday’s clash at Ipswich Town, strengthening a position which was badly lacking in numbers with less than two weeks of the transfer window remaining.

United’s owner, GFH Capital, had previously told McDermott to remove players from the wage bill before adding to his squad, but Leeds pushed through the deal for Wootton by paying an undisclosed fee with Manchester United anxious to see the transfer concluded and several other Championship clubs hovering.

Wootton is primarily a central defender but can also play at right-back, another position where Leeds were short of cover with Sam Byram recovering from a hip injury.

McDermott said: “He’s a player who’s played in the Champions League and someone we feel will develop with us in the coming years.

“I want to say thanks for the owners for doing the deal and bringing in another young player to help us go forward.”

Leeds have completed the first fortnight of the season with only two recognised centre-backs – Tom Lees and Jason Pearce – but McDermott began monitoring Wootton earlier in the summer and stepped up his interest after failing with a bid to sign Gordon Greer from Brighton.

Wootton is an England Under-17 international who broke into Manchester United’s first team squad last term, playing in two Champions League fixtures and two League Cup ties.

The Premier League champions previously sent him on loan to Tranmere Rovers, Peterborough United and Nottingham Forest but they chose to listen to offers to sign him permanently this summer with his opportunities at Old Trafford likely to be limited again.

The deal to bring him to Leeds concludes a seven-week period in which McDermott has

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