By Olly Allen

20th Nov, 2021 | 8:15am

Leeds-linked Lewis O'Brien speaks out on transfer speculation

Leeds transfer target Lewis O’Brien has opened up about rumours suggesting he could move to Elland Road.

The Whites were linked with the Huddersfield Town midfielder throughout the summer, but he eventually signed a new four-year contract at the club in September.

However, the speculation has refused to go away and earlier this month The Sun claimed that Leeds could sign him for £10m in January.

Speaking via Yorkshire Live, the 23-year-old admitted that all the talk in the summer proved more of a distraction than he thought it would.

“You think it’s easy to block out and that you’re not thinking about it but it’s always there in the back of your head every day,” he said. “You’ll see something or someone, or one of your friends or family is messaging you about something.

“But personally I tried to block it out as much as I could and just concentrate on my football, which I do with anything. No matter’s what’s happening in life, what’s going on, I just try and focus on my personal game and try to play the best for the team that I possibly can.

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“It was a massive weight off my shoulders when I signed my new contract. In the interview I did then I did go into further detail about how I felt about it and that it was the right step in my career. It was a massive weight off my shoulders and just allows me to play freely again for Huddersfield.”

Leeds undeterred

You get the impression that O’Brien is a very level-headed player off the pitch and that only boosts his reputation as he is evolving into an excellent midfielder.

The 23-year-old has remained the heartbeat of the Huddersfield side this season and has played every minute in the Championship since August 21; he has also worn the captain’s armband on three occasions.

His latest comments – and indeed his contract extension – are unlikely to deter Leeds in their pursuit though, particularly as Graham Smyth claims that O’Brien’s release clause “falls some way short of £13m”.

It is clear that the Whites are lacking depth in central midfield and although Adam Forshaw has made his return from injury, Marcelo Bielsa may still be keen to add reinforcements in January.

O’Brien is surely a Premier League player in waiting and Elland Road has to be an attractive prospect for him given he would not need to relocate.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites have been handed a boost in their pursuit of one midfield transfer target.