HEAD COACH Thomas Christiansen admitted he was losing Liam Bridcutt with reluctance after the midfielder sealed a move from Leeds United to Nottingham Forest.
Bridcutt has signed a three-year contract at the City Ground after the clubs agreed a fee of around £1m for a player who was out of contract at Elland Road next summer.
Christiansen had used Bridcutt just once this season, in a League Cup win over Port Vale, and the 28-year-old was left out of Saturday’s 2-0 win at Sunderland as discussions between Leeds and Forest over a £1m move continued.
United granted Bridcutt permission to open talks over personal terms and undergo a medical today.
Christiansen revealed that he had asked Bridcutt to stay and fight for a place at Leeds but said the glut of central midfielders at Elland Road had convinced him to move on.
“He’s a player I like, especially his attitude and how he performed in training,” Christiansen said.
“He goes always 100 per cent but we have a lot of players in that position and it’s why we had to take a decision like that.
“I said to him, if he has time to wait to take an opportunity I will have him here with me. But I understand that he wanted to go and play.”
Forest began targeting Bridcutt last week and stepped up their interest in him over the weekend.
Bridcutt’s contractual situation, holding a deal which ends in June 2018, left him open to offers and the absence of any move to renew his contract amid a flurry of other extensions at Elland Road prompted Forest’s approach.
Bridcutt was a major signing last August, joining Leeds on a two-year deal from Sunderland after a prior loan, but he failed to appear in any of the club’s league games this season.
He played 53 times for United but a move to Forest has put him in line to make his debut against Christiansen’s side at the City Ground on Saturday.