By Alex Stevens

Leeds have completed their first signing of the January window by extending the loan spell of Liam Bridcutt until the end of the season, the club announced on Tuesday.

Bridcutt’s initial emergency loan term at Elland came to an end following the Championship club’s clash with MK Dons on Saturday.

But Leeds have moved swiftly to extend the stay of the defensive midfielder, who is regarded as crucial to the plans of manager Steve Evans.

The Championship club revealed on Tuesday they have reached an agreement with Sunderland to keep him at Elland Road until May.

“I’m really pleased to have my number one target on board at this early stage of the window,” Evans told the Leeds website. “I like players who prove a point and Liam has done exactly that since he first arrived. He’s made a big impression here and has become a fans’ favourite in short space of time.

“Liam has consistently produced performances of an extremely high standard for us, which is all the more impressive when you consider he hadn’t played any league football this season prior to joining.

“He’s fitted into the group seamlessly and getting him signed up again comes as very positive news for us to start the New Year with.

“We’ve got him until the end of the season but if he continues the way he has been playing, then it puts us in a good position to speak to Sunderland about keeping him in the summer.”

Bridcutt becomes the club’s first signing of the January transfer window and is eligible to feature in Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Rotherham United after Leeds sought permission from Sunderland.

The Championship club are also trying to finalise a deal for Norwich striker Kyle Lafferty, who has slipped down the pecking order at Carrow Road, and bring in a winger amid doubts about the future of midfielder Sam Byram.

Evans admitted that talks are ongoing with Norwich over a deal for Northern Ireland international Lafferty 28, who has made only two appearances for the Premier League side this season and wants regular games before Euro 2016.