COMMENT By Danny Wright

Leeds are facing a bit of a defensive crisis ahead of Wednesday’s League Cup clash with Port Vale.

Pontus Jansson is suspended while Matthew Pennington was struck down with an injury in Sunday’s 3-2 win at Bolton in the first Championship clash of the season.

That leaves Liam Cooper as the Whites’ only available centre-back for the clash, and Thomas Christiansen really needs to add another option to his defence in order to add back-up or even improve on what he already has.

One player that the Elland Road boss must sign is Birmingham’s Ryan Shotton, who looks like he could be on his way out of St. Andrews this summer.

The Birmingham Mail reported in their live transfer blog on Tuesday that the 28-year-old centre-back had been in talks with Middlesbrough over a potential move to the Riverside.

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It would be a massive boost for the Leeds supporters to not only bag a defender with plenty of Premier League and Championship experience, but it would also be great for them to get one over on Boro boss Garry Monk, after he left Elland Road in acrimonious circumstances in May, by hijacking his transfer deal.

It is understood that Birmingham are holding out for £2million for the former Stoke man, who as well as Middlesbrough, is also on the radar of Bristol City after they had an enquiry rebuffed.

Shotton was left on the bench in the opening match of the Championship season on Saturday, meaning that he may be on his way out of the Second City club.

He featured 45 times across all competitions for Blues last season, taking his total appearances in the second-tier well over 100.

Leeds need experience and they need strengthening at the back as soon as possible. Shotton is available and would be the perfect man to partner Jansson for the rest of the campaign.

In other Leeds news, the Whites have edged forward in the race to sign this Champions League striker who has plenty of international experience.

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