Leeds United are looking to add a new full-back this month, and they want to move quickly for West Ham defender Ben Johnson, according to journalist Ben Jacobs.
The Whites have prioritized signing a full-back (both right and left) following the departures of Luke Ayling and Djede Spence.
Johnson – who is on £20k-per-week deal at West Ham – has only a few months left in his contract. The home-grown defender has refused to sign a new deal at the club, which means West Ham would be willing to sell him if they get a decent fee for him.
Jacobs says that Johnson could now be an option for Leeds and if they can persuade the Hammers to sell him on the cheap, they will move for him. The Whites do not want to wait until the summer for the defender who has struggled for games this season.
“Ben Johnson is the other one on the list. So one of those two is possible. And again, Ben Johnson hasn’t seen that many minutes,” said Jacobs to Give Me Sports.
“He’s out of contract in the summer. But Leeds are in favour, I’m told, of not waiting until the summer, they want to move now.
“They would take Ben Johnson on a loan. So it’s just about whether or not they can agree terms because West Ham would want a fee, even though the player’s contract is running down. So I think if Leeds could move for Johnson and get a low fee, or somehow persuade West Ham for no fee, then they would move very fast. But there’s a few negotiation points to get that one over the line.”
While Leeds have been linked with other defenders this month, a move for Johnson makes a lot of sense. Johnson will be looking to join a club where he can play regularly, and Leeds can definitely provide that.
He can play on both sides of defence and Farke could be impressed by his versatility. He has proven himself as a proper Premier League player but may need a kick-start in his career after a tricky last 18 months at the London Stadium.
Leeds are chasing promotion and his experience and quality could prove to be crucial. The Whites are also interested in signing Neco Williams but getting a deal for Johnson appears more realistic at the moment.
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