Leeds United: Wigan make approach for Jason Pearce

Jason Pearce.
Jason Pearce.
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Leeds United defender Jason Pearce is the subject of interest from Championship rivals Wigan Athletic.

Wigan have expressed a firm interest in the 27-year-old centre-back but Leeds look set to reject the approach from the DW Stadium.

Pearce has been on the fringes of United’s first team since Christmas and the club added more competition in his position by signing Sol Bamba on a half-season loan from Italian club Palermo on Friday.

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino - currently banned from acting as a club director by the Football League - is understood to have told Pearce last month that United would listen to offers for him in the January transfer window.

Head coach Neil Redfearn, however, is expected to oppose the sale of Pearce to a team who are heavily involved in the fight against relegation from the Championship.

Wigan lie second from bottom in the table and eight points adrift of Leeds after a 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town yesterday.

United also face the prospect of losing centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci to a lengthy suspension in the weeks ahead if the Italian is found guilty of racially abusing Norwich City striker Cameron Jerome during a game at Carrow Road in October.

Bellusci is already the subject of his two-game ban following his midweek red card against Bournemouth and he will miss United’s forthcoming matches against Huddersfield and Brentford.

Pearce, who started this season as captain but was replaced by Stephen Warnock at the end of November, has 18 months left on the four-year deal he signed in 2012.

He played only once as a substitute since Leeds’ 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest on December 20.