Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner has dispelled suggestions of a January loan move for mooted Leeds United target Scott Malone and insists the full-back is "in his head" for the whole season despite having not started a league match for the Terriers.
Malone joined the newly-promoted side from Championship outfit Fulham in the summer for around £5m but has so fair failed to dislodge Chris Lowe in Wagner's starting line-up.
The former Cardiff City full-back has seen just 58 minutes of Premier League action so far this season, with his only starts for Huddersfield coming in the Carabao Cup. His lack of game-time led to suggestions of a winter to switch to Leeds, who are going well in the Championship under Thomas Christiansen, but Wagner does not seem willing to part with the marauding left-back.
"He [Malone] is close, like I think a lot of players are close," Wagner told the Huddersfield Examiner. "He has started some games this season as well and I think we have competition in a lot of positions – in left-back as well.
"Scott has had a good week and he's had a good season so far. Chris Lowe has had a good season – he had some more problems maybe in the first Premier League games than he had in the Championship.
"And this is why we are happy we have two competitors for this position. Scott Malone is a player we have in our head for the whole season and for Swansea as well."
Malone will probably have to make do with a watching brief against struggling Swansea City as Huddersfield look to return to winning ways after a rocky few weeks. The 26-year-old's chances of moving to Leeds now seem unlikely, with Christiansen looking to find another solution to a position that has developed into a problem area for him over the last couple of months.
Despite their issues at left-back and their apparent failure to replace Charlie Taylor, who joined Burnley in the summer, Leeds have enjoyed a positive start to the new season and will hope to continue their strong form against a struggling Reading side at Elland Road on Saturday.