By Russell Edge

21st Dec, 2017 | 3:08pm

Talks underway, Leeds are working on the perfect January signing


Leeds United have opened talks with Everton over securing the permanent signing of Matthew Pennington and it promises to be the perfect transfer in the January transfer window.

Football Insider exclusively revealed on Thursday that the Whites had began discussions with the Toffees over turning the 23-year-old defender’s season-long loan deal into a permanent one, having impressed during his time at Elland Road.

The versatile centre back, who can also play at right back, has made nine appearances for the Whites so far this season, and despite not starting the campaign as a regular, has done enough to convince manager Thomas Christiansen to tie him down to a permanent deal.

After hopes of challenging for automatic promotion, which were born out of the club’s impressive start to the season, were dashed by a dreadful run of form, the club, as well as fans, have had to reevaluate their aims for this season, with a top six spot the aim now.

Leeds need to ensure that they have quality in depth if they are to secure a playoff spot, and that is exactly what Pennington brings to the side, acting as understudy for club captain Liam Cooper and Swedish international Pontus Jansson at the heart of the defence.

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As proven this season, injuries and suspensions both threaten the key duo’s place in the starting XI and it is up to the on-loan Everton man to step in when required, something he has already proven he is capable of doing.

However, a loan deal always leaves uncertainty over his future, and a permanent deal would cast aside any doubts and allow him, and the club, on focusing on his development at Elland Road and becoming the top class defender, with his potential already having seen him appear seven times in the Premier League.

He has got a bright future ahead of him, and as an already proven Championship talent, Leeds are working on the capture of a perfect signing in January.

In other Leeds United news, this fringe figure is set for the axe from the senior squad at Elland Road.

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