Leeds United are vying for the signature of Matt Mills after the defender was told he has no future at Leicester City.
Mills’ career with Leicester is heading for a spectacular end just seven months after a £5million move from Reading, and Leeds are believed to be leading the chase for the highly-rated 25-year-old.
New Leeds manager Neil Warnock prioritised additions to his defence after taking charge of the club last weekend, and he warned on Thursday that United’s prospects of promotion this term would be slim without an influx of new signings and “an input defensively.”
Leicester are willing to allow Mills to leave the KP Stadium on a temporary deal until the end of the end of the season, and his peripheral position under boss Nigel Pearson was made clear by his exclusion from the City squad named for Thursday night’s 1-0 win over Derby County.
Leicester brought him on board as part of as expensive revolution carried out last summer by former boss Sven Goran Eriksson, and his value reflected his prominent role as captain in Reading’s run to the 2011 Championship play-off final.
Reading had previously paid £2m to take the former Southampton trainee from Doncaster Rovers and Eriksson’s bid for him was a huge vote of confidence.
Pearson replaced Eriksson in November and continued to utilise Mills, naming him in his starting line-up as recently as February 14, but City’s boss appears to have lost faith in the defender.
Mills’ appearance in a 3-2 defeat at Watford could be his last for the Midlands club.
Asked about Mills’ future, Pearson said: “You’ll have to wait and see.
“The relevance of how much he cost is for others to discuss not for me to discuss. I’m not interested in individuals’ egos or interested in price tags. I am interested in the group being winners.”
Warnock inherited a sizeable number of centre-backs when he replaced Simon Grayson as manager at Elland Road but he made no secret of his plan to strengthen Leeds’ defence.
United conceded six goals in three matches leading up to today’s clash with Portsmouth, and speaking earlier this week Warnock said: “It’s been clear over the last couple of months that defensively we’re not good enough.
“At the moment it’s difficult to see us having a run without one or two new players. I do feel we need an input defensively.”