By Richard Parks
Leeds United are in hot pursuit of Everton defender Matthew Pennington as they look to sign him permanently, according to a report.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claim that the Championship giants are keen to land the Premier League man on a long-term deal in the summer window on the back of his season-long loan.
It is said that Leeds are far from certain of doing so as Everton want to extend his current deal, which runs until the summer of 2019.
The Yorkshire Evening Post report that Leeds have explored a permanent deal for Pennington, 23, and have not given up hope of doing so.
Pennington dropped down to the Championship last summer in search of regular first-team action and has made 22 appearances during a mixed campaign.
He has featured more regularly in the second half of the season and was even deployed as an emergency right-back at the weekend in the 2-1 win over Barnsley.
“It was good for Matty Pennington,” said United assistant Jamie Clapham, as quoted by the YEP. “He was played out of position but he did really well against McBurnie who everyone’s talking about.
“You can see he’s a talent, he’s got quick feet and he’s pretty strong as well. But Matty did well and the back four stood up to the challenge.”
Football Insider verdict:
Clapham might have been drooling over Pennington after his fine display against Barnsley, but it would be wrong to claim he has delivered a compelling case for a long-term Leeds deal. For most of the campaign, the Everton man has found himself behind Liam Cooper in the centre-back pecking order – which says a lot – and has delivered some displays that suggested he is far, far from the finished article. But United believe he is an unpolished gem, and it is telling that Everton want to tie him to a new deal. Don’t rule out the possibility of a second consecutive loan.