By Harvey Byrne

Joel Ekstrand is set to sign for Leeds by the start of next week, according to a report.

Radio Yorkshire journalist and presenter Joe Rawson claims on his official Twitter page that the signing will be completed early next week by the latest.

The 27-year-old defender is wanted at Elland Road by Whites manager Garry Monk, who is looking to secure another defensive option for the forthcoming Championship campaign.

Ekstrand is a free agent following his release by Watford at the end of the 2015-16 season and would land at the Yorkshire giants without a fee.

If Leeds were to get a deal over the line for the centre-back he would become new boss 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, Lewis Cook has thanked Leeds and their supporters in a lengthy announcement.