Leeds United: Bartley's quality clear for all to see, says Heckingbottom

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Leeds United boss Paul Heckingbottom believes the qualities Kyle Bartley possess are clear for all to see but stopped short of admitting the defender was on the Whites summer wish list.

The YEP understands that Leeds have made Bartley one of their top targets this summer and have already opened talks with Swansea about a potential deal for the defender.

Kyle Bartley.

Kyle Bartley.

Bartley spent the 2016/17 campaign on loan at Elland Road racking up 45 league appearances in the process and scored six goals from the centre of defence in a stellar campaign.

The 26-year-old though has found game time hard to come by having made just two Premier League starts this season and saw his campaign ended this week following a knee injury.
Heckingbottom, who was speaking ahead of Saturday's visit of QPR, revealed that the quality Bartley has is clear from his previous Elland Road stint: "Everyone has seen his qualities from last time he led the team."

"He consistently played a high number of games, played well and looking from the outside that's what you knew you were playing against. He's strong defensively and they were the qualities he showed when he was here."

Heckingbottom though refused to confirm whether the Whites were targeting Bartley in the coming transfer window but admitted he was someone he had seen a fair amount of.

"I've seen a lot of him," continued the Leeds boss. "Don't forget we played against him as well."

"One thing you know when you're involved in the Championship is what everyone else is doing in the league. You know how every team is doing and who is doing well for certain teams. You know the strengths and weaknesses of everyone."

The YEP has also been told that United are in advanced talks with semi-professional Crusaders forward Gavin Whyte. The Northern Irishman notched 21 goals this campaign as his side claimed the NIFL Premiership title for the third time in four years.

Whyte, who has been capped by his country at under-21 level, recently hailed current United player and countryman Stuart Dallas as an 'inspiration' telling the Belfast Telegraph: "Everyone talks about Stuart at the Crues and what he has achieved. Some people have said to me that I could follow in his footsteps.

"He has been brilliant going to Brentford and then he got his big move to Leeds, so that is inspiring."