Liam Bridcutt remains hopeful of forcing through a permanent move to Leeds United after being left out of Sunderland’s pre-season tour to France.
Sources close to the midfielder told the YEP that Bridcutt is intent on rejoining Leeds this summer and optimistic that the impasse over his proposed move will be broken soon.
United have been looking at a permanent deal for Bridcutt ever since his previous loan at Elland Road finished in May but repeated discussions with Sunderland have failed to strike an agreement for a player who has a year left on his contract.
Bridcutt’s current wage stands at around £26,000 a week – far above the typical weekly salary at Leeds – and Sunderland value the 27-year-old in excess of £1.5m.
The Premier League club, who want to avoid paying up the last 12 months of his deal, deemed Bridcutt surplus to requirements many months ago and confirmed his status by omitting him from the travelling party taken to France by new Sunderland manager David Moyes.
Moyes’ arrival on Wearside yesterday as replacement for newly-appointed England boss Sam Allardyce is not expected to open any doors for Bridcutt and the ex-Brighton midfielder admitted during his loan at Leeds that he was equally keen to call time on an unsuccessful spell in the north east.
Leeds and head coach Garry Monk see the addition of a midfielder in Bridcutt’s mould as a priority in the remainder of this transfer window and he has been the club’s prime target throughout the close-season.
Sources at United indicated today that a fee was still to be finalised and Monk refused to discuss Bridcutt directly after yesterday’s friendly defeat at Peterborough United.
Monk said: “We’re always looking at different players and names will be mentioned.
“Everyone will have assumptions and whispers of who we’re going to buy but I like to keep those things quiet until there’s something concrete to talk about.”
Bridcutt – a two time player-of-the-year at Brighton – was a mainstay in Leeds’ line-up last season after joining on emergency loan in November and then agreeing a half-season extension in January.
He was widely credited with tightening up a struggling side before Christmas and made a total of 24 league appearances.
Aston Villa were heavily linked with him last week but Bridcutt is understood to be looking to make a move to Leeds happen with the new Championship season less than two weeks away.
United have not added to their squad since Kemar Roofe became their sixth arrival of the summer on July 7.