Leeds United's proposed move for Kyle Lafferty is edging closer to completion after manager Steve Evans confirmed that discussions are ongoing with Norwich City regarding the player's future. The Northern Ireland striker has been in excellent form for his country of late, contributing massively to their successful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with seven goals.
That total put him on par with Wayne Rooney and Gareth Bale, with only the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thomas Muller netting more. Despite his stellar international form, however, the 28-year-old journeyman has been consistently overlooked at club level.
After making 20 appearances in all competitions for Norwich last season following a summer switch from Palermo, Lafferty ended the campaign on loan with Turkish Super Lig outfit Caykur Rizespor. He returned to Carrow Road following the club's promotion back to the Premier League, although he has since featured just twice as a late substitute, in the Capital One Cup third-round tie against West Bromwich Albion in addition to the top-flight defeat to Leicester City.
Rumours of a potential loan exit to Leeds first appeared in November, but later cooled when Alex Neil revealed that he would not sanction any further exits until January as his side fight to stay clear of relegation danger. The reopening of the transfer window appears to have brought the topic back to the table though, with Evans even suggesting that the former Burnley and Rangers forward watched from the stands during Leeds' 1-1 Championship draw with MK Dons on 2 January.
"I understand Kyle Lafferty watched the game," Evans was quoted as saying by the Yorkshire Evening Post. "He must have bought a ticket. He's a Norwich player and the clubs are having a chat. We'll see where it goes."
Evans' claim that Lafferty was present at Elland Road has now been disputed by Lafferty himself, however. Addressing the rumours via Twitter, he said: "Just to clarify a few things. I wasn't at the Leeds game [yesterday].
"I am overwhelmed at the interest from Leeds Utd as I understand how passionate the club and their fans are. [At the moment] I am still a Norwich City player and I will continue to work hard and try and force my way into the team. I will train and concentrate on our FA Cup match against Man City on Saturday."
Leeds look set to be busy during the January window despite the ongoing saga relating to Massimo Cellino's ownership of the club, with Sunderland loanee Liam Bridcutt expressing his desire to join on a permanent basis and versatile youngster Sam Byram believed to be attracting attention from the likes of West Ham United.