Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer has confirmed his interest in signing Leeds United midfielder Eunan O’Kane before next week’s loan deadline - but admitted the move faces a number of obstacles.
As reported by the YEP earlier this month, Charlton are targeting O’Kane after the Republic of Ireland international was deemed surplus to requirements by Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa at the start of the summer.
O’Kane, who has three years left on his contract at Elland Road, failed to find a permanent move ahead of the August 9 cut-off for full-time transfers but Charlton want to take him to League One before the window closes on all signings next Friday.
Leeds handed O’Kane a new deal and a pay rise 12 months ago and Bowyer, the former United midfielder, admitted the midfielder’s wage was a complication.
O’Kane also favours a switch to another Championship club but despite suggestions that Bolton Wanderers had shown an interest in him, he remains at Thorp Arch with seven days of the window to go.
Bowyer told the South London Press: “He’s definitely someone we’re interested in but obviously he’s on a big wage so Leeds are weighing up where he’s going.
“Because of that, we can’t compete with his wage and the player wants to play in the Championship still but yeah, he’s a target and we’ve asked the question. They’re keeping us in mind the later it goes.
“Is it going to happen straight away? No. We’ve spoken a couple of weeks ago now. They know we’re interested. They’ve said they’ll try and look after me if they can.
“At this present time he’s not coming down but it could be something happens later on.”
O’Kane - a free transfer from Bournemouth in August 2016 - struggled for form last season and was a victim of Bielsa’s decision to limit his squad to a maximum of two senior players covering each position.
The 28-year-old last played for Leeds on the final day of last season, as a substitute in a 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers.