Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa is reportedly a big admirer of Reading midfielder John Swift, according to The Athletic‘s Phil Hay.
According to the well-respected journalist, the Whites’ enigmatic boss has been keeping close tabs on the 26-year-old for some time ahead of a possible move in the upcoming January transfer window.
“Bielsa has liked Swift for a while,” Hay wrote in a match discussion Q&A on The Athletic. “It’s a difficult question because deep down you question whether Swift improves Leeds long term, but they’re not going to be able to spend big next month, and maybe some pragmatism is a good idea.”
Swift’s current contract at the Madejski Stadium is set to expire next summer, and with the Royals hovering above the Championship relegation zone, an imminent exit could be on the cards.
The attack-minded midfielder has been linked with several top-flight clubs in recent weeks as he approaches the end of his deal with Reading, and his agent previously addressed the speculation surrounding Swift’s potential move to Leeds.
“There’s been a lot of speculation in the media about different Premiership clubs being interested in John,” he said. “At the moment, his sole focus is on playing for Reading and doing the best he can with them.
“Leeds United is a great club and their style of play, manager, and fans would be good for John moving forward in his career. However, no formal approaches have been made that we are aware of by Leeds to Reading at this stage.”
When taking a closer look at Swift’s credentials, it’s little surprise to see the former England under-21 international edging back towards the Premier League.
Following a 2-1 win over Preston North End back in August, Royals manager Veljko Paunovic called his talisman “super talented“, and it’s hard to argue with the 44-year-old’s assessment.
Since arriving at Reading, Swift has become one of the Championship’s star performers, bagging 31 goals and laying on a further 34 assists in 184 appearances.
He has elevated his game to new heights this term. In 20 outings for Paunovic’s charges, the £25k-per-week dynamo has notched eight goals and provided nine assists, highlighting his top-class potential.
Therefore, a large section of Leeds fans will surely be delighted at Hay’s latest revelation, and Swift could provide the spark needed to fire the Whites to safety.