By Olly Allen

28th Nov, 2021 | 12:10pm

Phil Hay: Marcelo Bielsa is a long-term John Swift fan, Leeds United January funds limited

Leeds United may decide against making a bid for transfer target John Swift in January, according to Phil Hay.

The Star have linked the Reading midfielder with a switch to Elland Road, with his contract in Berkshire expiring at the end of the season.

Swift has scored eight goals and registered eight assists in 19 appearances for the Championship outfit this season.

However, writing on his matchday blog for The Athletic, Hay has cast doubt over Leeds’ intentions to sign the 26-year-old in the new year.

“Bielsa has liked Swift for a while,” he said.

“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.

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“Tough call. But they can’t afford to get caught short this season.”

Deal or no deal?

Leeds will currently be weighing up the pros and cons of signing Swift in January as they are going to have to be considered with their transfer business.

The midfielder should not be too expensive, given that he’ll have just six months left on his contract and Reading need to reduce their wage bill after being handed a six-point deduction by the EFL for breaching profitability and sustainability rules.

The Whites are in need of more cover in the middle of the park and certainly an option that offers them some creativity, considering that Kalvin Phillips and Adam Forshaw are defensive-minded players.

Then the question is whether Swift is the best man to buy or whether there are better alternatives. The 25-year-old has gone slightly off the boil in recent weeks, coinciding with Reading’s dip in form, failing to score in his last seven matches.

Furthermore, having never previously played in the Premier League, he could take a while to adjust to the step up.

In other Leeds United news, Mark Lawrenson has made his prediction for today’s game against Brighton.