Leeds United: Krhin move may spell end for Austin

Rodolph Austin.
Rodolph Austin.
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Millwall have joined Brighton in eyeing a transfer-window move for Rodolph Austin with Leeds United’s interest in Rene Krhin threatening to end the Jamaican’s time at Elland Road.

Leeds are ready to listen to approaches for Austin if Inter Milan agree to send 24-year-old Krhin to England on a half-season loan this month.

United have been in talks with Inter ahead of the start of the January transfer window and the Championship club are confident of securing Krhin on a temporary basis with a view to a permanent transfer in July.

A new central midfielder is one of Leeds’ main priorities but the signing of Krhin would leave former captain Austin surplus to requirements.

The Jamaican international, who cost Leeds around £300,000 from Norwegian club SK Brann in 2012, has been in and out of United’s team this season and is edging into the latter stages of his contract at Elland Road.

Austin’s three-year deal expires in June and he has not been offered an extension by the club.

Brighton, who are one place above the Championship’s relegation zone and a point behind Leeds, enquired about Austin’s availability last month, prior to Sami Hyypia’s resignation as head coach at The Amex.

The Sussex side appointed Chris Hughton as their new boss yesterday but might still follow up their initial approach after the January transfer window opens on Saturday.

Millwall are also believed to be monitoring Austin with their manager, Ian Holloway, attempting to stave off relegation.

Brighton’s win at Fulham on Monday dropped Millwall into the Championship’s bottom three, two places below Leeds, but United would not stop Austin from moving to either club.

Leeds are continuing to work on an agreement with Inter and hope to add Krhin to their squad before their league game at Bolton Wanderers on January 10.

Krhin, a Slovenia international, started his career in Milan but spent four years at Bologna after moving from the San Siro in a co-ownership deal in 2010. He returned to Inter six months ago and has made two competitive appearances this season.

United head coach Neil Redfearn admitted new signings were needed after a 2-0 defeat to Derby County on Tuesday night, a result which left Leeds in serious trouble near the foot of their division.

“We’re finding it tough,” Redfearn said, “but it’s important to stick together. That’s the way we’ll make things better. It’s answers the players need. The lads in the dressing room need help.”