By Harvey Byrne

Leeds face competition from Burnley and several Italian clubs as they look to secure the signing of unattached defender Joel Ekstrand, according to a report.

Guardian journalist Ed Aarons claims on his personal Twitter page that the Yorkshire giants are in negotiations with the centre-back along with Burnley and the former Watford star also has offers from Italy.

It was reported on Football Insider that the Whites had offered a contract to the 27-year-old, but Premier League Burnley are now also in negotiations with the Sweden international.

If Leeds were to get a deal over the line for the centre-back he would become new boss Garry Monk’s second Swedish signing for the club.

Striker Marcus Antonsson put pen to paper on a three-year deal with Leeds this summer, joining from Swedish side Kalmar for an undisclosed fee.

Ekstrand joined Watford from Udinese in 2012 where he made 100 appearances for the club during his four-year stay.

The Swedish defender experienced three years of Championship football at Vicarage Road and played a key role in Watford’s promotion year during the 2014-15 season where he featured in 25 encounters for the club.

However, during the successful campaign Ekstrand suffered a cruciate ligament injury and did not feature for the club again before being released in the summer of 2016.

In other Leeds news, Sporting Lisbon attacker Hadi Sacko has joined the Whites on a season-long loan.