By Editor Wayne Veysey | 17 years experience of breaking major stories at Evening Standard, PA and Goal, including exclusives like this

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Leeds are keen on signing Liam Bridcutt permanently even though he has returned to his parent club Sunderland following the end of his loan spell at Elland Road, Football Insider sources understand.

Bridcutt joined the Yorkshire giants initially on an emergency loan last November before the deal was extended in January until the end of the season.

A source close to the situation has told Football Insider that Leeds have indicated to Bridcutt they are keen to sign him on a permanent contract.

In turn, the 27-year-old central midfielder is keen on a return to the club where he has been a mainstay of the team during his six months on loan.

Any deal would have to be sanctioned by the new manager – there remains the possibility that could still be Steve Evans – but the Championship club believe they have done the groundwork on a deal.

Scotland international Bridcutt, who has a year remaining on his Sunderland contract, made 27 appearances for Leeds in their recently completed campaign.

Leeds announced on Friday that 13 players will leave Leeds this summer as part of a mass summer exodus, the club announced on Friday.

Eight out-of-contract players are to exit Elland Road when their deals expire next month, two scholars have been released and three on-loan first teamers have returned to their parent clubs.

Bridcutt has joined Tom Adeyemi and Mustapha Carayol in ending his temporary spell at Elland Road but there is still a possibility he could make the return journey from Sunderland back to Leeds.

In other Leeds news, club legend Peter Lorimer has explained why controversial owner Massimo Cellino might not be as bad as many supporters think.