Leeds United want to agree a permanent deal for on-loan Everton defender Matthew Pennington - but are likely to delay any move until the summer transfer window.
United are keen to sign Pennington on a full-time basis and will look to talk Everton into a sale following the appointment of Sam Allardyce as manager at Goodison Park.
Pennington was sent to Elland Road on a season-long loan by former Everton boss Ronald Koeman in July but Koeman lost his job three months later and Pennington’s prospects under Allardyce are unclear.
The 22-year-old has more experienced defenders in front of him, including Ashley Williams and Michael Keane, and youngster Mason Holgate has also figured regularly for Everton this season.
Pennington has played just nine times during his loan at Elland Road, a spell which was affected by an ankle injury suffered on the first day of the Championship term, but he has impressed head coach Thomas Christiansen and United hope to persuade Everton to sell him.
Reports suggest that Leeds will look to strike a deal in the January window but sources at Elland Road have told the YEP that any agreement is expected to wait until the end of the season.
Speaking today, Christiansen declined to comment on United's plans but said he was happy with Pennington's contribution.
"If I say no or if say yes then that will increase the money but I'm very happy with how he's done until now," Christiansen said.
"When he has played, and also now when he doesn't, in training, he's one of the players that goes up front (at the head of the pack) and always has a smile. He works hard and this is to be appreciated. It's what builds a good squad."
Pennington signed a new contract with Everton in April and is tied down at Goodison Park until 2019.