By Alex Stevens
Leeds are on the verge of agreeing a fee with Barnsley for the transfer of midfielder Alex Mowatt, according to a reliable journalist.
Sun correspondent Alan Nixon took to Twitter on Thursday night to deliver an update on the Mowatt situation after the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that the Tykes were interested in signing the playmaker, 21, from their second-tier rivals and handing him a three-year contract.
It was said earlier that Barnsley have indicated to Mowatt’s representatives that they may hold off on pursuing him until the summer window.
But Nixon, who has a transfer column in the Sun and is a reliable source of information about Championship transfers, not only reported that talks have opened between Leeds and Barnsley but that they were close to settling on a fee for the attacking midfielder.
However, Nixon added the rider that nothing was concluded and that it is “not always easy to get things done just now”.
There are just five days remaining in the transfer window and the two clubs will have to work quickly to push through a deal before the transfer cut-off next Tuesday.
Barnsley, who have sold striker Sam Winnall, right-back James Bree and midfielder Conor Hourihane to second-tier rivals this month, are reportedly keen to take advantage of Mowatt’s contract situation.
His current deal with Leeds expires in the summer and talks about an extension have failed to result in an agreement.
The 21-year-old has suffered a frustrating season under Garry Monk and has found himself behind the likes of Pablo Hernandez, Kemar Roofe and Hadi Sacko in the pecking order.
Mowatt has made 20 appearances this season in all competitions, but just seven of those have been starts and he has not started a league match since the 15 October defeat to Derby.
The youngster, who was voted Leeds’ player of the year in 2014-15, was once again on the bench for the midweek 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest, coming on as a substitute for the last two minutes.
His only goal this season came against fourth-tier opposition, when he scored the winner against Cambridge United in the FA Cup earlier this month.
In other Leeds news, there has been a finale in a major deal after a £7million Leeds bid was tabled.