Leeds United 'in chase' for £6m defender who is a Premier League club captain

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Daniel Farke is keen to bring defensive reinforcements to Leeds United before Thursday's transfer deadline.

Leeds United remain keen to strengthen defensively this month and reports suggest they are in a two-horse race to sign Nottingham Forest outcast Joe Worrall.

Central defender Worrall has been mostly limited to cup football at Forest, playing just one minute in the Premier League since Nuno Espirito Santo took over as manager. The 27-year-old was banished from first-team training by previous boss Steve Cooper in December and informed he was free to leave once the transfer window opened.

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An exit from the City Ground has looked likely for Worrall but despite reports of interest from the likes of West Ham and Leicester City, there has been little progress. With the window closing on Thursday, journalist Alan Nixon has now named Leeds alongside Sheffield United as a potential destination for the 27-year-old.

Nixon adds that Forest want £6million for Worrall, suggesting they would prefer a permanent exit for their club captain. But the lack of serious interest in the defender, with so little time until the deadline remaining, could open the door for a loan deal to be struck.

Leeds had looked set to need reinforcements at centre-back, following Daniel Farke's decision to leave Charlie Cresswell out of the squad in recent weeks. The 21-year-old attracted Championship interest and looked for all to be moving on, but he was on the bench for Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup fourth round draw at home to Plymouth and is expected to stay in West Yorkshire after accepting his role as cover for first-choice Joe Rodon.

Nixon has recently suggested that Blackburn Rovers are interested in Liam Cooper, following their failure to land Nat Phillips on loan from Liverpool. But the YEP understands Cooper is keen to fight for his place and Leeds have no intention of selling their club captain.

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Farke has already lost an experienced member of his squad, with Luke Ayling joining Middlesbrough on loan. He looks set to leave Leeds on a free once his contract expires in the summer. His exit, plus the decision to send Djed Spence back to Tottenham, has left the Whites weak at right-back and that is expected to be the main point of focus between now and Thursday.

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