Leeds United manager Steve Evans has indicated the club have made Liam Bridcutt aware they intend to sign him on a permanent basis from Sunderland at the end of the season. The 26-year-old moved to Elland Road on an initial two-month deal before extending the arrangement until the end of the season.
The former Brighton and Hove Albion man has made 10 Championship starts for The Whites and turned in a eye-catching performance as his side defeated Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Evans revealed during the January transfer window Bridcutt was his number one target in the window, and that is set to be the storyline this summer as the club seek a long-term deal for the midfielder.
"I think Liam's very aware of what I think of him," Evans said, according to Sky Sports. "He's very aware of what this football club thinks of him and the one thing I'm very aware of is that Liam loves playing for Leeds United. He never hides that. Liam's a top-quality player, he leads by example in his determination to win a game."
Goals from Sol Bamba and Mirco Antenucci delivered Leeds' third win in a row and put them 12 points adrift of the play-off positions, with a game-in-hand to play over sixth-place Sheffield Wednesday. Former club striker Noel Whelan says the win over the Lancashire club means dreams of making a late charge for promotion with 10 games to go remain realistic.
"The play-offs are not beyond the realms of possibility but we don't look any further than the next game which is Huddersfield at home," the ex-Leeds forward told the Yorkshire Evening Post. "We prepare from now until the Huddersfield game and if we go in with the same commitment and work ethic and togetherness that the team have got right now, enjoying winning and playing against teams, who knows what can happen Sometimes it's how you finish in the league, not how you start."