Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis will make a decision on whether Leeds United can re-sign Adam Clayton in the coming days, according to the Northern Echo.
The newspaper claim that Leeds, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City have all expressed interest in signing Clayton, 28, during the January transfer window.
The Northern Echo report that the option is on the table for Boro to make a “sizeable profit” on the player they signed from from Huddersfield for £1.5million in 2012.
It is said that big-name former West Brom and Stoke City boss Pulis currently regards Grant Leadbitter and Jonny Howson as his first-choice central midfielders and will decide imminently on selling or keeping the former Leeds man.
Manchester City academy product Clayton was on the books at Elland Road between 2010-12, making 50 appearances, during which he scored six goals, before joining Huddersfield.
The midfielder has played 14 times in all competitions for Boro this season, but has figured just once in the Championship since mid-October when he played in all 90 minutes of a 3-0 defeat to Derby.
There has been a clamour on social media among Leeds fans in the last two months for the club to re-sign Clayton, who has lost his place in the Boro side in the last two months after being a key man in recent years, including in their doomed Premier League campaign. He has not even made the matchday squad for the last six league matches in a clear indication of his new status, although he did play as a substitute in the FA Cup third round win over Sunderland. It is easy to see why Leeds fans would want the no-nonsense central midfielder back at the club. He is a warrior with experience and pedigree who knows what it takes at Championship level. Clayton would strengthen a United midfield that is short on knowhow and guile, as the team’s recent performances have showed. Eunan O’Kane and academy products Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips are the first choice central midfielders in Thomas Christiansen’s side, but Clayton is easily good enough to compete with those three for a regular starting spot.