Garry Monk reiterated his confidence that Leeds United will seal the permanent signing of Pontus Jansson in the weeks ahead as the Sweden international prepared to cross the threshold of 20 appearances.
On-loan Jansson is set to play for the 20th time at home to Rotherham United on Monday, activating a clause which gives Leeds the right to sign him on a full-time basis from Torino.
United owner Massimo Cellino negotiated the option when Jansson moved to England on a season-long loan in August, agreeing a fee of around £3.5m for the charismatic 25-year-old.
The centre-back reached the point of his 20th appearance with another superb performance at Aston Villa on Thursday, scoring and hitting the crossbar in a dramatic 1-1 draw.
Jansson is committed to Leeds until the end of the Championship term regardless of any permanent arrangement but his form since linking up with the club has made a full-time deal increasingly pressing.
Monk said: “That’s all internally dealt with but we’re very comfortable. We have the option and it’ll be for us to decide but Pontus is very committed. You can see that from his performance (at Villa). Internally we deal with all those matters properly.”
Jansson has repeatedly stated his desire to take up a long-term contract at Elland Road, saying his time at Torino had “ended in a bad way” and admitting he had no intention of returning to the Italian club.
He was one of five loanees recruited by during the summer and one of four signed until the end of this season. Spanish playmaker Pablo Hernandez is the only one of the five whose deal expires next month and his half-year loan will run out after Monday’s derby against Rotherham.
United have lined up a permanent deal for the former Valencia player and initially planned to sign him for the rest of the campaign with the option of a year’s extension to June 2018.
Hernandez has been another influential figure under Monk, despite missing the run up to Christmas with a hamstring strain, and he scored in Leeds’ 4-1 Boxing Day win at Preston North End.
“Everything’s going to be taken care of internally,” Monk said. “I don’t think there are any worries for any of us or any of our players.
“They’re committed and the club are working behind the scenes to make sure everything is done when it needs to be done and dealt with in the right way.”
Leeds climbed to fourth in the Championship table on Thursday after a late penalty from Jonathan Kodjia denied them a deserved victory at Villa Park.
Villa hold the Championship’s only unbeaten home record and are still in contention for a play-off place but Monday’s opponents Rotherham remain trapped at the bottom of the table with 13 points from 24 games. Defeat to Burton Albion on Thursday left them 10 points from safety.
Monk admitted that Leeds would be expected to win Monday’s match, which will play out in front of a crowd of over 30,000 at Elland Road.
“We’ve got an extremely important game coming up now and it’s going to be extremely difficult,” said United’s head coach. “Rotherham are fighting and scrapping for every point. It’s a local derby and we’ll be expected to win that at home - which we do expect.
“We’re going to need a big crowd to push the players and give the game that atmosphere and give the players energy.”