Leeds United are reportedly interested in a midfielder who Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa described as a “great player” earlier this year.
Reading playmaker John Swift is believed to be on Elland Road’s radar, according to Berkshire Live.
With Leeds edging ever closer to the Premier League, the regional outlet claims Bielsa, Victor Orta and co are eyeing the 25-year-old with a view to next season.
However, Leeds reportedly face competition from South Yorkshire in the shape of Sheffield United, who are said to have made a £3.5million offer to sign Swift.
The box-to-box midfielder joined Reading on a free transfer in 2016 and played a significant role in the side’s run to the playoff final in May 2017.
Although the Royals have been enduring relegation battles the following couple of seasons, Swift has remained one of their better players.
Berkshire Live adds that Reading are reluctant to lose Swift but their “severe” financial problems are forcing them to sell some of their key assets this summer.
In February, Bielsa praised Swift after his side’s 1-0 win over the Royals at Elland Road, during which Mateusz Klich did a fine job in limiting his opponent’s threats.
“Swift is a great player, I value him a lot,” the Argentine was quoted by Reading Live as saying.
“He is a player who appears suddenly in attack and the same in transition between defence and attack, but especially when he passes from the defence to the attack. Klich is a player who attacks a lot.
“I thought Klich was going to attack well, but maybe was unable to defend Swift well. I think Swift was more worried to defend Klich than attack us. He looked like he didn’t have impact in their attack.”
Swift is a high-calibre player who’s a cut above in his current side and, given they’re just six points clear of the drop zone, it remains to be seen whether he fancies another relegation battle next term.
Blessed with great technical skills, a superb engine and amazing reading of the game and passing abilities, he looks tailor-made for Bielsa’s style and, should everything go to plan and Leeds reach the Premier League, he’d finally be able to shine on the big stage.
However, with Sheffield United having enjoyed a superb top-flight season this time out, Leeds must pull out all the stops to ensure their Yorkshire rivals don’t get in ahead of them.