By Craig Scott

10th Mar, 2020 | 2:45pm

Leeds want int'l centre-mid amid contract stand-off, currently managed by ex-Whites ace - report

Leeds United are in pursuit of West Ham midfielder Josh Cullen with the Republic of Ireland international’s contract set to expire next year, according to the Daily Mail.

The newspaper claims that the Hammers have moved to extend the 23-year-old’s deal until 2021, but they are yet to reach an agreement over a longer contract.

It is understood that contract stand-off has encouraged Leeds, although they are not alone in the hunt to land the central midfielder.

According to the Mail, Norwich and Bournemouth are also keen to sign Cullen, as well as Leeds’ promotion rivals West Brom, who are managed by ex-West Ham manager Slaven Bilic.

West Brom’s link to West Ham has already bore fruit for the Black Country club, who signed Grady Diangana on loan from the London Stadium in the summer and managed to persuade the Hammers not to recall him in January.

However Leeds do have a need for extra central midfield options and that could also stand them in good stead as they aim to sign Cullen.

The Republic of Ireland international has been on loan at Charlton this season, appearing 25 times in the Championship and scoring one goal in the process.

Judging by stats on WhoScored, Cullen has been a shining light in what has been a dismal season for Charlton supporters.

He has averaged more key passes per game than any of his team-mates in the Championship [1.5] while also boasting a better pass accuracy than anyone with more than five appearances [83.2%].

Cullen’s currently managed by ex-Leeds star Lee Bowyer and his international manager for Ireland is boyhood Whites fan Mick McCarthy.

Maybe the influence of those two will help Cullen make his decision in the summer if that is what it comes to.

In other Leeds United news, rival fans are furious with some Leeds supporters for what they did at the weekend