By Alex Stevens
Garry Monk has placed on-loan Leeds United defender Kyle Bartley at the top of his summer shopping list, according to a report.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claim the Leeds manager will prioritise the signing of the Swansea centre-back if he remains in the dugout.
It is said that Monk wants the club to pursue the permanent capture of Bartley, 25, even though his reputation and transfer value has been considerably enhanced by his campaign at the heart of the Yorkshire giants’ backline.
The Yorkshire Evening Post report that the future of Arsenal academy product Bartley could be determined by the outcome of Swansea’s battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
The defender signed a contract extension with the Welsh club that runs until 2018 shortly before he was given the green light to join Leeds on a season-long loan.
He has been a colossal figure for Leeds this season, starting 45 of their 46 Championship matches and only denied the full set by a minor knee injury.
The partnership between Bartley and Pontus Jansson was integral to the team’s promotion challenge that only fell narrowly short following a final-month collapse.
Monk’s own future is up in the air as his 12-month contract expires next month but he is set for detailed talks with owner Andrea Radrizzani about staying at Elland Road and signing a long-term deal.
In other Leeds United transfer news, the club are in a three-horse race to sign a top-flight captain who is desperate to make a move to the Championship big hitters.