Leeds United could make a fresh move to sign Huddersfield midfielder Lewis O’Brien in January after being handed encouragement in the player’s pursuit, Football Insider reports.
The Whites were eager to land the 22-year-old this summer, but the deal did not materialise before the deadline.
Terriers chairman Phil Hodgkinson recently confirmed that the club rejected a final bid of £13 million. The proposal consisted of a small fee up front with performance-based add-ons.
It is now reported that Leeds have received encouragement to return for the midfielder in January. They are actively in talks with agent Kevin Sharp as O’Brien is ‘desperate’ to join.
However, they will need to find a suitable deal with the Terriers, who are eyeing a higher fee up front for their graduate. It has been reported that Leeds were only willing to pay £4m initially.
Leeds had identified him as one of their prime targets for the summer due to his tireless work rate and good tackling ability. He averaged two tackles per league game last term.
On top of this, the midfielder has also chipped in with the odd goal or assist. He would have been a quality addition to the club’s squad.
While Leeds were in extended negotiations with Huddersfield, they were reluctant to pay a high fee which scuppered their chances of landing his signature.
They could well return for him at the turn of the year. O’Brien’s contract expires at the end of the season, but the Terriers have a 12-month extension clause.
O’Brien will effectively have 18 months left on his contract in January. The Championship outfit may lean towards selling him to Leeds if they make an improved bid.
Huddersfield have made a positive start to the current season. They are lying fourth in the standings with 10 points.
They could opt to stick with O’Brien beyond the winter transfer window if they can maintain momentum and stay in the hunt for Premier League football next season.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.