Leeds United were closing in on the signing of Liam Bridcutt last night amid growing signs that Sunderland are ready to do a deal to move the midfielder out of the Stadium of Light.
Leeds and Sunderland have been negotiating a permanent transfer throughout the summer and attempts to bring Bridcutt back to Elland Road after his successful spell on loan last season have been held up by haggling over the termination of his contract in the north east.
Bridcutt has a year left on a deal worth £26,000 a week and Sunderland were keen to avoid bearing the cost of paying up his last 12 months.
Leeds were equally intent on reaching an agreement which fits in with the existing wage structure at Elland Road but sources close to the midfielder have told the YEP that the two sides are on the verge of striking a deal after further discussions this week.
Bridcutt favours a return to Leeds having made 24 league appearances for the club while on loan last season.
The former Brighton midfielder is determined to move on from the Stadium of Light this summer after losing his place in Sunderland’s first team.
Bridcutt has not appeared for the Premier League club since the end of the 2014-15 campaign and he was left out of a pre-season tour to France by new manager David Moyes.
Bridcutt’s peripheral role at Sunderland has seen him limited to only one Under-21 appearances since the start of pre-season, away at non-league Darlington last month.
United head coach Garry Monk, however, has long seen him as a crucial piece of the puzzle at Elland Road and Leeds are working to push the transfer through before they head to Queens Park Rangers for their first game of the new Championship season.