Leeds United in battle to keep Jerome Thomas

Jerome Thomas.
Jerome Thomas.
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Leeds United may have to fend off interest from Championship rivals Crystal Palace and Blackpool to sign Jerome Thomas for a second time.

The winger has returned to parent club West Bromwich Albion following the end of his loan spell with a number of second-tier sides expected to now firm up their interest following the opening of this month’s transfer window.

Thomas, whose deal at the Hawthorns expires in the summer, is currently reviewing his options and is waiting to see if he is part of Steve Clarke’s plans at the Premier League outfit.

The Londoner featured seven times for the Whites after arriving in November but missed Tuesday’s game with Bolton Wanderers – the final match of his initial loan spell – due to a virus.

His agent, Tony Finnigan, admitted Thomas enjoyed his loan spell at Elland Road but the player is now waiting to see where he stands at Albion.

Finnigan told the YEP: “I am not sure when the 25-man Premiership squads have to be named (for this month). He is going back with a remit to try and get into the squad at West Brom.

“But if Jerome is not in it, then we will look at things again.

“He did play 33 games in the Premier League last season and feels he can compete with Zoltan Gera. If they decide he’s not for them, that is up to West Brom. But I am sure there will be takers again in the Championship because there are some good clubs there, including Leeds.

“People can see the quality Jerome brings and if you are trying to get promotion, you want players in your squad who can help you if you go up into the Premier League. Jerome ticks all the boxes.

“Neil Warnock loves exciting wingers and he always gives those type of players a platform to play and enjoy themselves and I know Jerome enjoyed his time at Leeds and playing for Neil.”

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On the future of Thomas, 29, Warnock said: “It may be either a permanent deal or nothing, I think. One or two other clubs are sniffing, so we will see what happens with that one.”

Another loan player, Alan Tate, has extended his loan spell at the club until January 26 and has been granted permission to play in Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie against Birmingham City at Elland Road. Warnock is also hoping to sign Michael Tonge on a permanent basis.

Meanwhile, youngsters Ross Killock and Nathan Turner are to extend their loan spells at Alfreton Town and Chester respectively, with keeper Alex Cairns having also penned a loan extension at Stalybridge Celtic.

And Barnsley have cooled talk of a possible move for Whites academy boss Neil Redfearn, with the ex-Tykes favourite reportedly one of the contenders to take over from Keith Hill.

Tykes general manager Don Rowing said: “Obviously whenever there’s a vacancy (at Barnsley), Neil’s name will come up as will the names of many others who have been part and parcel of Barnsley Football Club in the past. But as it is at the moment, we have had nothing official from Neil and that’s the way it is at the moment. He’s in employment anyway.”

Adam Forshaw. Picture: Andrew Varley.

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