By Wayne Veysey

19th Mar, 2018 | 11:34am

Leeds in hot pursuit of international in deal driven by Heck as Orta takes back seat - report

By Richard Parks

Leeds United are in hot pursuit of Barnsley right-back Andy Yiadom, according to a report.

The Yorkshire Evening Post claim the Yorkshire giants are keen to sign the defender, 26, on a free transfer when his contract at Oakwell expires in June.

It is said that United manager Paul Heckingbottom is driving the pursuit of a player he signed from Barnet in 2016 and has emerged as a key player in Barnsley’s bid to avoid relegation.

The Yorkshire Evening Post report that director of football Victor Orta is taking a back seat in the Yiadom bid as Heckingbottom aims to win the race for the Ghana international.

As revealed by Football Insider, Celtic are also keen to sign Yiadom, whose pedigree is such that he was set to join Swansea City last summer only for the deal to collapse at the last minute because the paperwork was not completed in time.

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He got over the disappointment of the failed transfer to the big time by getting his head down at Barnsley, and there is widespread interest in his services ahead of the summer.

Football Insider verdict:

Right-back has been a problem position for Leeds this season despite a wealth of Championship experience in that position, through Luka Ayling, Gaetano Berardi and Vurnon Anita. First choice Ayling had a wretched campaign before an ankle injury in January ruled him out for the rest of the season, while Berardi’s limitations are not masked by his commitment and never-say-die spirit. Heckingbottom knows Yiadom’s game inside out and can install him as a first-team regular at Elland Road. Signing a defender who can hit the ground running in the Championship would be a smart move, as Heckingbottom will now be painfully aware that the current United squad are not good enough to challenge for promotion.

In other Leeds United news, it can be revealed that NINE senior players at the club are in Radrizzani’s firing line and fighting for their jobs.

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