Leeds United are reportedly lining up a bid for John Swift this January…
What’s the word?
That’s according to Football Insider, who claim the Yorkshire giants are keen on landing the Reading midfielder during the winter transfer window as he enters the final six months of his current contract.
The Championship outfit previously put a £7m price tag on his head amid interest from Marcelo Bielsa and co in the summer but that valuation may well have dropped given his contractual situation – January will be the last time the Royals can secure a fee for him.
It’s thought that director of football Victor Orta is scouring the market for an attacking no.8 and it seems as if Swift fits the bill nicely.
Hernandez heir, finally?
Indeed, the 26-year-old maestro – once on the books at Chelsea – has been one of the second flight’s best players this season.
After missing the bulk of last season with a pair of serious hamstring problems, Swift has bounced back in an exciting fashion by providing the Championship strugglers with eight goals and nine assists from 21 appearances.
It somewhat echoes his form from the 2019/20 campaign, where he directly contributed towards 16 goals across 41 games.
He is by far and away Reading’s best talent, topping the WhoScored charts with a 7.40 average rating. Swift is also managing a whopping three key passes per game, making him the Championship’s most creative talent, on top of 1.9 dribbles per match, too.
That makes him a prime candidate to solve Marcelo Bielsa’s attacking midfield woes. It could be argued that United failed to replace the reliable influence of Pablo Hernandez, who left in the summer.
Only five teams have scored fewer goals than Leeds this season. No player has registered more than two assists, with Raphinha leading the way for key passes per game (1.8) – still some way off Swift’s impressive form.
Bielsa is said to be a huge fan of the Reading dynamo, according to the reliable Phil Hay of The Athletic, so he should be trusted if he wants him at Elland Road in January.
“[It] was interesting to see John Swift linked over the weekend because Swift is someone Bielsa quietly admires,” he revealed last month.
Leeds could well finally replace Hernandez with a bargain swoop for Swift this winter.