By Olly Allen

19th Nov, 2021 | 10:15pm

MOT View: Leeds pursuit of John Swift is boosted by Reading's points deduction

Leeds United are bound to believe their chances of signing John Swift have increased following Reading’s six-point deduction by the EFL this week.

The Whites have had a long-held interest in the midfielder, who Phil Hay has recently stated that Marcelo Bielsa “quietly admires”.

Swift has scored eight goals and registered seven assists in 17 appearances for Reading this season, but the Royals now may be forced to let their star man leave.

As well as an immediate six-point deduction, the Championship side also have a further six-point penalty that is suspended until the end of 2022/23 this season, which will be implemented if they do not adhere to a business plan set out by the EFL.

One of the terms of this business plan is that the Royals must reduce their player wage bill below £21.1m this season and then £16m next season.

Swift is likely to be one of the highest-earning players at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, meaning he could be one of the first players culled as Reading aim to get underneath this salary cap.

While his contract at the club runs out at the end of the season, the Berkshire outfit may even be forced to sell in January.

The business plan also details how Reading are not allowed to have more than 25 ‘permitted players’ in their squad. They have already reached this limit, meaning if they want to make any signings of their own in January, players will have to leave first.

Again, Swift would be one of the easier players to get rid of considering the high level of interest in him from Leeds and other clubs.

The Whites would likely have preferred to wait until next summer to sign the midfielder on a free transfer, but could be tempted by a cut-price deal in the new year.

In other Leeds United news, Jermaine Beckford has described one Whites ace as “the real deal” following some impressive performances.