Derby County made a “pre-deadline day” move for Middlesbrough midfielder Grant Leadbitter, according to the Derby Telegraph.
It is believed that Middlesbrough turned down Derby’s approach. Sheffield Wednesday were also interested. Derby are apparently going to keep Leadbitter on their radar and may move again for the central midfielder in January.
Derby signed midfielder Maikel Kieftenbeld from Birmingham City on deadline day which may have been their alternative to Leadbitter. Rams boss Gary Rowett also swooped for Sheffield Wednesday striker Sam Winnall, with midfielder Jacob Butterfield going the other way. This left a gap in Derby’s midfield.
Leadbitter, 31, looked to be leaving Middlesbrough in the summer after they were relegated from the Premier League. However, Boro have held onto him, despite interest from Championship rivals. He has played twice for the North East club so far this season.
Leadbitter is a very experienced Championship midfielder. He started his career with Sunderland, playing over 100 games for the Black Cats. He had a short loan spell at Rotherham in between in 2005. He then joined Ipswich in 2008, who were then managed by Roy Keane. Having played 116 games for Ipswich, Middlesbrough came calling in 2012 and he has been there since.
Despite racking up over 200 appearances for Boro, there is a no guarantee of a first-team spot at Middlesbrough for Leadbitter this season due to there being a lot of competition for places. Players like Adam Forshaw, Adam Clayton and Johnny Howson are all competing for the central midfield places at the Riverside. Therefore, it is a real possibility that Leadbitter could leave in January, with Derby a likely destination should they make the expected secondary swoop.