By Olly Allen

22nd Nov, 2021 | 9:30pm

Leeds target John Swift unlikely to leave Reading in January

Leeds United target John Swift is unlikely to leave Reading in January, according to Royals local journalist Jonathan Low.

The midfielder has been linked with a move to Elland Road by The Star, who also claim that Burnley and Wolverhampton Wanderers are interested in signing him.

Swift’s contract at Reading expires at the end of the season and it seems unlikely they will able to offer him a new deal as they attempt to cut their wage bill following a six-point deduction by the EFL.

In a Q&A for BerkshireLive, Low was asked about the 26-year-old’s future at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

“I can’t see him staying unfortunately although I think he will be here until the end of the season,” he replied.

“Clubs know about Reading’s financial problems and they’re not going to offer much in January, if anything. I’m sure they’ll look to get him on a free in the summer.

“Mr Dai clearly likes him – remember he turned down the move to Sheff Utd a few years ago – so I don’t see him wanting to cash in on him in January.”

Inevitable exit

There is a consensus that Swift will not be at Reading in a year’s time. The question is over whether he leaves in January or next summer and the answer lies in how urgently the Royals need to cut costs.

Even in January they will not receive a significant transfer fee for him, but they may need to get his wages off the books.

As part of their agreed business plan with the EFL, Reading have been given a player salary cap of £21.m. Swift’s departure in January would make it a lot easier to get under that.

Leeds, long time admirers of the midfielder, could benefit from that and be able to secure a cut-price deal.

Centre midfield will be one of the key positions that Marcelo Bielsa will be looking to strengthen in January, which depth lacking in that area even with Adam Forshaw now back from injury.

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has had his say on Dan James’ goal against Tottenham.