Noel Whelan has hailed Brentford midfielder Romaine Sawyers as a potentially top-quality signing for Leeds United.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker believes the 27-year-old “ticks a lot of boxes” and is “what Marcelo Bielsa wants”.

Football Insider revealed last week that Leeds are rivalling Celtic to land Sawyers after the Scottish giants had a £2million bid for the 27-year-old rejected by the Londoners.

United face other competition from Championship clubs, including West Brom, Middlesbrough and Stoke City, for the midfielder.

“Yes, he is Leeds quality,” Whelan told Football Insider. “I’ve really liked him for a number of seasons. He is big and strong, very calm on the ball with a wide range of passing and, crucially, he is physical as well. He ticks a lot of boxes.

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“He has developed at a good footballing club, which is what Marcelo Bielsa wants, and will have learned a lot from Dean Smith.

“I’d like Sawyers at Leeds, and I’d be very happy if we got him, but to play alongside Kalvin Phillips and not as a replacement for him.”

Sawyers is entering the final year of his contract at Brentford after signing from Walsall in 2016.

Brentford do not want to lose Sawyers, who has been a fulcrum of the side that is an established top-half Championship outfit, making 41 league starts among 46 appearances for the club last season.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED the £40,000-a-week Leeds stars key to Phillips failing to agree new deal.