EXCLUSIVE - Leeds in talks with Swansea over summer deal for Kyle Bartley
Leeds United have opened talks about a summer deal for Kyle Bartley after listing the defender as a top target for the forthcoming transfer window.
Leeds are in negotiations with Swansea City over the signing of Bartley and hope to wrap up a move as quickly as possible after the end of the Championship season.
Swansea will listen to bids for the 26-year-old provided the club avoid relegation and retain their Premier League status.
Bartley, despite signing a new contract at the Liberty Stadium in August, has rarely featured for Swansea this season but boss Carlos Carvalhal is likely to retain him if City’s squad drop into the Championship next month.
Bartley demonstrated his credentials in the second tier during a highly-impressive spell on loan at Leeds last season, a campaign in which he started 45 league games and helped United compete for a play-off position.
The former Arsenal trainee - a close friend of United right-back Luke Ayling - was signed by ex-Leeds boss Garry Monk and established a reliable partnership with Pontus Jansson in the centre of defence.
Leeds made no offer to sign Bartley permanently at the end of his year-long deal at Elland Road and he subsequently received four-year contract at Swansea but United have moved to target him again after a dismal term in which a previously strong defensive record collapsed.
Bartley is understood to be open to a return to Leeds having featured just four times in the Premier League since moving back to Wales. A knee ligament injury suffered in August forced him onto the sidelines and he did not feature again until January.
Swansea’s place in the Premier League is far from secure with only one point separating them from the relegation places but Carvalhal’s squad are three games away from guaranteeing another year in the top flight.
Leeds will face competition for Bartley’s signature from rival Championship sides, including those who come down from the Premier League, but the club are keen to make him one of their first recruits of the summer having failed to challenge for the play-offs since his departure.
A 2-1 defeat at Norwich City on Saturday dropped Leeds to 14th in the Championship ahead of their final game at home to Queens Park Rangers next weekend.