LEEDS UNITED are poised to seal the permanent signing of West Bromwich Albion’s Tyler Roberts on Wednesday after mounting a late bid for the Wales Under-21 striker.
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The Elland Road club are confident of landing Roberts ahead of tomorrow’s 11pm transfer deadline after the arrival of Daniel Sturridge at The Hawthorns persuaded West Brom to sell the highly-rated 19-year-old.
Roberts’ contract with Albion ends in the summer and West Brom’s failure to agree improved terms with him was threatening to leave them at the mercy of a tribunal fee.
Leeds have been searching for a new striker in the latter stages of the January window but looked set to draw a blank in the final hours. They are ready, however, to finance the purchase of Roberts for an initial fee of £2.5m.
Roberts recently returned to The Hawthorns from a half-season loan at Walsall and was expected to figure under West Brom manager Alan Pardew during the second half of the Premier League season.
We’re not in a good moment with the players we have available and at the end of the game it’s a good point.Leeds head coach, Thomas Christiansen
Sturridge, though, made an unexpected loan move to West Brom from Liverpool on Monday night, rejecting Newcastle United in favour of joining Pardew’s squad.
Roberts is now being allowed to move on following an intense chase for the teenager’s signature this month.
The youngster, who has represented Wales at Under-21 level and been on the verge of a full cap, was reported to have interested Rangers and several French teams, all of whom had the right to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with him.
Leeds’ offer is now set to secure his signature and the club were to hoping to begin Roberts’ medical tonight as Thomas Christiansen’s side fought out a 0-0 draw with Hull City.
Speaking after full-time at the KCOM Stadium, Christiansen said: “It’s right. He’s a player we have been following, a young talent who can help the team.”
Roberts would become the third first-team signing of the window following the transfer of left-back Laurens De Bock from Club Brugge and midfielder Adam Forshaw from MIddlesbrough.
United were under pressure to add another forward to their squad after slipping five points below the play-offs over the weekend and the club are four points back after a forgettable game at the KCOM Stadium.
A fine performance from goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald earned Leeds a point against a side in 21st place but Christiansen’s resources are thinner than ever after centre-back Matthew Pennington was lost to injury during training on Monday and youngster Conor Shaughnessy left the field at the KCOM on a stretcher with a potentially serious ankle problem.
Christiansen was already without six senior players through injury and suspension and the United boss said: “It’s a good point, looking at the circumstances we have.
“We’re not in a good moment with the players we have available and at the end of the game it’s a good point. We knew it would be difficult but we took one point and a clean sheet.”
Christiansen, meanwhile, confirmed that second-choice keeper Andy Lonergan will leave Leeds for Sunderland tomorrow after asking to move to the Stadium of Light and take up the chance of regular football.
Lonergan has been at Elland Road since August following his arrival from Wolverhampton Wanderers, his second spell with United, but the 34-year-old is preparing to depart after just nine appearances.
Christiansen, who admitted he would look to academy keepers Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Kamil Miazek to cover for Wiedwald, said: “He will go. The thing is that Andy asked us about it because it’s a big opportunity for him to extend his career - a good contract he can get.”