Ross Barkley is the sort of player that Leeds United need to target if they are to finish in the top 12, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker and boyhood Whites fan delivered his verdict as the club consider Barkley as an alternative to Rodrigo De Paul.

This site revealed last week that Leeds are plotting a late-window loan swoop for the England international who is valued at £30million.

Barkley spent a month on loan from Everton at Elland Road in 2013 where he played four games.

He joined Chelsea in 2018 but is yet to start a Premier League game for the Blues this season.

Asked by Football Insider what he made of Barkley potentially re-joining Leeds, Whelan said: “It’s great to be linked with these names, these are big names, these are big players and international players.

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“If we’re going to have any chance of getting top 12, pushing towards the top half, we’re going to need these sorts of players, there’s no doubt about it.

“We’re going to pick up injuries, we’re going to get strains, we’re going to get lack of form and we’re going to get suspensions throughout the year.

“Being linked with these sorts of players is pretty impressive and if we can get two more over the line then even better!

“We’re adding real quality to what we’ve already got.

“Leeds United are already an exciting side to watch and with those additions it’ll be even better to watch.”

Barkley has played 86 games for Chelsea across all competitions, scoring 11 goals and providing 11 assists.

Last season the 26-year-old started just 13 Premier League games for the Blues as he struggled with a foot injury.

In other news, Football Insider can exclusively REVEAL Leeds United are preparing a last-gasp bid for a Norwich City star man.