Date: 18th July 2019 at 7:21am
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Former Leeds striker and United expert Noel Whelan has given his backing to the Whites signing Brentford attacking midfielder Romaine Sawyers this summer.

Speaking with Football Insider, the 44-year-old discussed our speculated interest in the influential Bees figure, as it emerged last week that Marcelo Bielsa is a keen admirer of the 27-year-old.

The boss supposedly sees Sawyers as someone capable of stepping into our midfield and give us the added creativity that should get us over the line and secure our long-awaited return to the top-flight, having fallen short in his inaugural season at the helm.

But Brentford are reluctant to parting ways with the £2.7million-rated Birmingham-born, Saint Kitts and Nevis international captain, and have already rejected an offer from Celtic, believed to have been in the region of £2million.

The Bees hope they can retain the 5 ft 7 midfielder’s services over the remainder of the summer window to boost their hopes of promotion, despite the creative force entering the final year of his contract at Griffin Park.

West Bromwich Albion, Middlesbrough and Stoke City are also said to be interested in Sawyer’s availability, but Whelan feels a move to Elland Road would be a great bit of business for United as the West Brom product ‘ticks a lot of boxes’.

“Yes, he is Leeds quality,” Whelan said. “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.

“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 recorded seven assists in the second-tier during the Bees’ 2018/19 Championship campaign, but failed to score from any of his 36 shots in 42 games.

The 27-year-old also averaged a key pass every 52.8 minutes, and completed 34 of his 56 attempted dribbles, but lost possession 116 times through poor touches and being dispossessed.

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