LEEDS United are believed to be facing competition from Championship rivals Cardiff City and Reading for Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt.
Whites head coach Steve Evans has been chasing Bridcutt for the past week and hoped to secure the loan signature of the 26-year-old in time for last Tuesday’s Championship clash with Cardiff.
The deal did not go through in time with Evans then hoping to tie up terms before Saturday’s derby at Huddersfield Town but Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce said on Thursday that the Bridcutt to Elland Road switch was “confused, a bit like Leeds”.
And now it has emerged that Cardiff and Reading are also interested in securing the services of Bridcutt with the player and Sunderland weighing up his best option.
Asked about for the latest on Bridcutt’s situation after Saturday’s 3-0 win at Huddersfield, Evans said: “I spoke to Liam on Friday and the conversation went extremely well.”
United remain hopeful of signing the defensive midfielder but no movement is expected today with Evans also chasing a goalkeeper and a striker.
Leeds have been linked with West Brom shotstopper Anders Lindegaard to provide competition for Marco Silvestri with reports emerging yesterday that the Baggies had rejected United’s enquiry about his availability.
But Whites sources have dismissed fanciful suggestions that United are chasing Stoke City’s former England striker Peter Crouch.
Norwich City duo Kyle Lafferty and Lewis Grabban have also been linked with moves to Leeds who return to action after the international break at home to Rotherham United a week on Saturday.
Before that, tomorrow marks the final day of chairman Massimo Cellino’s 28-day period of grace from his Football League ban, subject to appeal.
Cellino has been disqualified under the owners’ and directors’ test after being found guilty of an offence under Italian tax legislation relating to the non-payment of VAT in June.
Following stern pressure from United’s fans, the Italian has vowed to sell the club but is still appealing his ban.
Otherwise the Football League could insist that he resigns from his position tomorrow.
If Cellino’s appeal is unsuccessful, it is likely he will be banned until June 2016.
News also emerged yesterday that the Italian would face trial on March 1 over the construction of the Stadio Is Arenas in Calgiari.
Cellino and others will face trial accused of embezzlement and the abuse of environmental and building regulations.
United’s under-21s were in action yesterday at Coventry City with Casper Sloth and Luke Parkin netting as the Whites came from behind to seal a 2-1 victory.
Tommaso Bianchi also played 90 minutes with Souleymane Doukara substituted with nine minutes to go.
Whites head coach Steve Evans has arranged a friendly at Wycombe Wanderers this Friday evening in which most of United’s first team are expected to feature though Lewis Cook (England Under-19s), Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland), Jordan Botaka (DR Congo) and Charlie Horton (USA Under-23s) are first team squad members away in international duty.