Leeds United look set to confirm the extension of Liam Bridcutt’s loan from Sunderland in the next 24 hours despite a flurry of interest from other Championship clubs.
United are understood to have secured a deal to keep Bridcutt at Elland Road until the end of the season and should formally finalise the agreement tomorrow.
Bridcutt, 26, joined Leeds on an emergency loan in November but his initial spell at Elland Road ended after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with MK Dons, his eighth appearance for the club.
Brighton, Reading and Cardiff City - a side who came close to landing Bridcutt ahead of the emergency loan deadline - are all thought to have expressed an interest in the midfielder in the lead-up to the January transfer window but Leeds appear to have secured his services for a second time.
The former Brighton player will rejoin United on a half-season loan with a view to a permanent move next summer having decided that his career with Sunderland is over. He has 18 months remaining on his deal at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland paid around £2.5m to take him from Brighton in January 2014 but Bridcutt has not played for the Premier League side since May.
Despite suggestions from Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce that he intended to recoup money for Bridcutt by selling this month, an extension of his temporary stay with Leeds is now on the cards.
Bridcutt made his own intentions plain after Saturday’s draw with MK Dons, saying: “I’m hoping to extend it to the end of the season and I want to extend it. Leeds want me here and it's just waiting on Sunderland.
“For me, game time is the most important thing. The manager (Evans) has been brilliant with me and given me a great opportunity to play. You can see that when I’m playing I’m back to my normal self.”
Leeds have lost only one of the eight games in which Bridcutt has played, 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers on his debut on November 28.