Leeds United: Kilkenny keen to follow Becchio lead

DEAL me in! That's the message from midfielder Neil Kilkenny who is ready to pin his colours to the Leeds United mast and pledge his long-term future to the club.

The Socceroos schemer, in impressive form during United's majestic nine-match unbeaten Championship run, is keen to thrash out new terms sooner rather than later with his contract due to expire in June.

Initial discussions are understood to have made little progress, with boss Simon Grayson expecting talks to continue in the new year.

The United chief made headway late last week when star striker Luciano Becchio ended raging speculation over his own future by agreeing a new three-and-a-half year deal to add considerable gloss on the 2-0 home victory over table-topping QPR.

Attention is now expected to turn to resolving Kilkenny's future, with the ball-playing midfielder – who can talk to interested parties in January if no new deal is agreed – having no shortage of admirers.

Doncaster Rovers boss Sean O'Driscoll remains a particular fan, having attempted to sign him on several occasions in the past.

The player, who turned 25 on Sunday, said: "I really want to stay here and feel honoured to play for the club.

"I want to let that be known. I've enjoyed my time here and feel that I've played regularly over the past three years.

"I've made nearly 150 appearances for the club now and that's really a very good record over three seasons.

"Hopefully, the club can sort something out."

Kilkenny is waiting to see if he misses out on a nostalgic FA Cup date at first club Arsenal early next month after being named in Australia's provisional squad for the Asia Cup – which has presented him with a bit of a quandary.

The Socceroos' 50-man poolwill be whittled down to 23 with the trimmed squad set to be announced on December 28.

If selected, Kilkenny could potentially be ruled out for the whole of January on international business, but be forced to miss some big league and cup games with Leeds, including the blue-riband Emirates fixture.


He said: "It's (Arsenal) a special one for me, although I don't know if I'll be playing yet because I may be going away with Australia. So I don't know yet.

"It would be a choker to miss that but, at the end of the day, it's an honour to represent my country. But obviously I want to play for Leeds as well."

Meanwhile, Manchester City midfielder and self-confessed Leeds fan Michael Johnson has revealed he would jump at the chance of joining the Whites on loan.

The 22-year-old former England Under-21 international has been in the wilderness at Eastlands in the last few years and after a series of knee injuries, he could be shipped out on loan to get some games under his belt.

On a possible loan destination, he said: "You can't pick or choose, but I've always been a Leeds fan.

"I'd love to play for them and a loan deal would be an ideal scenario."