After reportedly failing to close a loan deal for Manchester City’s Michael Johnson on deadline day, speculation linking Leeds with a move for the midfielder won’t die down.

Claims were made that Man City boss Roberto Mancini had a change of heart about the move during the January transfer window and instead wanted Johnson to continue his rehabilitation in Manchester and not get thrown into competitive matches. However, The People have since reported that Johnson is nearing full fitness and Mancini would be happy for him to gain first team action, despite naming the midfielder in his 25 man squad for the second half of the season.

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds scouts watched Johnson in action for Man City reserves last week. Simon Grayson’s reaction seems to suggest there is still a possibility of the Man City man arriving at Elland Road:

“He (Johnson) is a good player and he played 80 minutes for the reserves the other night. We like good players… City at this moment aren’t letting Michael out because they don’t think he’s fit enough. In the future if they let him out, would we want to take him? You’d have to wait and see.”

Following the one month loan signing of Eric Lichaj from Aston Villa, Grayson seems intent to follow up his ambition of bringing in Premier League players to bolster his squad for a promotion push. The combination of the prodigious talent that was evident before Johnson’s fitness problems and his passion for Leeds United could make him an ideal addition to the team for the run-in.

After two months of speculation it would be nice for all concerned if business was concluded as soon as possible.

  • Shez

    Surely we can do better than an injury prone midfielder, who burst on the scene intially only to get crocked and put about 3 stone on! Come on Larry, you can’t seriously expect this kind dof “signing” (on loan as he will no doubt have inflated Citeh style wages) to help us?!

  • mike weaver

    speculation linking Leeds with a move for the midfielder,well if he’s coming good,if not,tough sh.t,Bradley wont sign well lets get someone who wants to play for leeds and not just for the cash.

  • Ron

    I think he’s worth the risk. Michael Johnson is precisely the reason young talented footballers stay away from English Football until they physically mature, due to the toughness and physicality of the English game. I think the fact he is openly passionate about Leeds makes a big difference. Have a look at the 25 players named by City and tell me you don’t have to be talented to make it. I for one hope he comes.

  • badras

    i hope he comes as he has tallent.you dont lose it forever just because you get injured so after a few games he will be a great addition to the team. even if he doesn’t start the first few games it wont matter 2 much as it probably wont cost leeds any money to loan him from man city .
    we could get better players if we were willing to spend loads of money but if johnson is as good as he was before his injury it will be another great desision made by grayson and co.

  • shez

    YOu’re missing the point guys, he may be “leeds through and though” – so what! He’s unfit and there’s no way he will IMPROVE the team. City just want to farm him out to get him fitter and sell him. I don’t want anyone at Leeds unless they are 100% fit and I don’t see what possible benefit he will have sitting on our bench cos if isn’t fit enough for the Prem he won’t be fit enough for the Championship run in!!

  • Ron

    @ Shez

    He’ll be fit soon enough and only a fool would believe that he is not able to improve a Championship outfit, even if he reaches half of the ability he showed when fit. I would love to see more Premiership quality players in our side, but there are two forces at play which have limited this:

    – Prem managers wanting to keep players for their run-in
    – and Leeds not spending any money without absolute necessity.

    Anyway, the next 2 weeks will tell us a lot about whether we are good enough this year and I hope M. Johnson is with us.

  • Ron

    We’ll see him in action against this Greek side in the UEFA Cup as he’s been named in the squad for tomorrow night. Even though I am a fan, his double-chin photo in this story does worry me.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/9396911.stm

  • shez

    I don’t deny he was very good when he burst on the scene and formed a good midfield with Ireland and Petrov etc, but let’s face it, aren’t we better off getting someone who can come in from the off without any baggage such as injury and weight gain. Thomas Brolin WAS good when we signed him, but he soon proved that not be the case. Extreme example but you catch my drift. I personally don’t want him here.

  • henryv

    If he is fit I can see us getting him, perhaps after Feb 26th. His is an excellent player.
    I can see us moving for a tall center-half from the Premiership at the same time.

  • Tim Campbell

    As bradley Johnson is now with us to the end of the season, the urgency to get another midfielder in is now not as pressing. I must confess, frustratingly, that since bradley turned down the offer of a new contract he seems to be playing out of his skin. Another little gripe is that ramon nunez has been with us two thirds of a year and has had more action sitting on his bum cheeks than on the field of play. Don’t get me wrong, AS LONG AS the current formula is working I am happy with the status quo – in other words ‘Whatever you want! Whatever you like!’ lol

  • captaincrash

    Agree with henryv in that timing of loan is key, we could well leave it a couple of weeks so he can stay thru’ duration of play offs, if……………….. That aslo gives him 2 weeks of motivation to play in reserves etc and sharpen up the fitness.

    Delph anyone?

  • trueyorxman

    Johnsons been joining us for the last 6 weeks now, with absolutely no suggestion from Elland Road that we are actually interested. Looking at the pic above I hope he’s been going to Weight Watchers in that time, he looks like Jon Parkins younger brother. Can’t see him getting in our side at the mo’ anyway

    • Shez

      At last some sense from a fellow Leeds fan on this topic!….although Larry has said he’d be interested and that City won’t let Johnson come on loan as he’s not fit enough!!

  • Dubwhite

    Very few of us will have seen this bloke play for 2 seasons or so, what type of midfielder is he? Who would we leave out to play him? Bradders is playin the best football of his Leeds career, nunez deserves a chance in the howson role if he is absent,Kilkenny is our best passer, Sam and watt are also capable so I just don’t get the need for another bench warmer.

  • Dewi Powell

    I can’t see Man City letting him go and only having 24 players for the rest of the season. It gives them a potential disadvantage against the other teams aiming to be at the top.

  • md

    We only have 3 central midfielders and missed Kilkenny. We defo need another quality central midfieder.

  • EYLEEDS

    I’d be more keen to have him on loan if there was a chance of a permanent deal at the end of the season if it works out. Can’t see that happening though, so perhaps Larry should keep looking and find someone 100% fit or with potential for a long term deal after the loan ends.
    Johnson is a very good player though and would stand out at championship level even if only 75% fit. Hate to see him go to a rival and us regret it.

  • Loved them diamond floodlights

    I think he should come he could save the peacock and subway and the chippy is he any good at togger ?

  • Colin

    I think this is going to happen. As Grayson said, Man City didn’t let him go as he wasn’t fit enough.

    Reading between the lines this is how I see it:

    – Grayson wants him – Leeds are all over him like a rash.
    – He came out and said he wanted to play for Leeds. Why? Because at that point he probably knew that Leeds wanted him, and it was a ‘come and get me plea’ to LUFC and a message to Man City that Leeds is his only choice of loanee club.
    – Leeds wanted him in January, but City spoke to Grayson and asked what he would use him for. SG must have said he’ll be a first team player and that scared City, in case the player broke down from being pushed too hard.
    – I don’t expect him to arrive with a double chin. You can argue about the skill level of some of the Leeds players, but you can’t argue about Leeds’ work rate. Our players work hard. If you publicly state you want to play for Leeds, they are big words. You know what to expect – you’re going to have to work your tits off. If you don’t, the fans will let you know in no uncertain terms, you’ll get dropped and it’s a one way ticket to destroying your career.

    Johnson won’t drop a league unless he’s certain he will look good at this level. And Leeds won’t take on a player unless he can play at a higher level than the current squad.

    It takes a lot of bottle to come out and say you want to play for Leeds, when you could easily take the Man City money and not push yourself. If this guy wants to prove himself, and he wants to do it at Leeds, then he’s confident in his abilities and he’s got some serious spirit.

    Sign him up.

  • Irving08

    There aren’t enough games to go to integrate a midfield player like Johnson into the team, a full back maybe, but not someone in the ‘engine room’. And that’s even if we wanted him, which I for one don’t. I couldn’t care less about his professed passion for Leeds or his supposed ability; the guy will disrupt what seems to be a remarkably harmomious squad and anyway will not easily fit into our strongest 4.-5-1 formation. Fortunately I think Simon is too smart to go down this route and – unless forced to do otherwise by injury – will stick with the present bunch till the final whistle. I believe also that loanees were a significant factor in last New Year’s blip and think that Simon too will be bear this in mind.

    • Colin

      Irving08 I know what you’re saying but you’ve alluded to it. Injury. We’ve already lost Connolly for 3 weeks. What happens if we lose any of Snodgrass, Gradel, Howson or Bradley Johnson?

      15 games to go. 1350 minutes of non stop play to go. Do we gamble on not bringing anyone in? Do you think they will all be fit/not suspended for the next 1350 minutes? I hope so, but it’s unlikely.

      I think we need cover and also a threat to the first team to keep them on their toes. Michael Johnson could also prove a useful person to use to allow our midfield to rest and recuperate on the knocks that they will inevitably get.

      An example, last game we play at QPR. Let’s say they’ve won the title and we have no chance of auto promotion, but we have a guaranteed playoff place even if we lose. Under no circumstance would we play Howson, Snodgrass, Gradel, Johnson if we could. We might have to play some of them, but ideally you’d rest them all. I think that’s also on Simon’s mind. As for attack, you’d drop Becchio and Somma and play Paynter/McCormack, but we don’t have that sort of cover for midfield.

      • Irving08

        Fair points. But if we need cover, then I’d get Whyte back from Oldham; the boy now looks match fit, and I would have no qualms whatsoever in pitching him in the first team as cover. And we know he ‘fits in’ – something we cannot say about Johnson.

  • Andy Flynn

    we’ll only be paying part of his wage so why not?.

    works for everyone this one – City get him back playing competitive football,Leeds get some good cover in for run in, he gets to play for the mighty Leeds United. it will happen

    if we do go up, we need to be thinking about signing players of MJ’s quality. let’s be happy players of this calibre want to play for Leeds.

    plenty of young players get injured, get fat and come back strong

  • fieryjack

    I know we have Johnson ‘playing out of his skin’ but HE would not get bought by Man City or even get in their squad… MJ is and if he couldn’t walk on the pitch and immediately make us better – like Mcartney and Lichaj- Grayson wouldn’t be interested…that said what is Clayton here for? or Nunez? Our weakest points are Kilkenny and Johnson, the rest of midfield could play in the prem. Recruit another tough, fast centre half and we’d have a decent lower end prem side!

  • md

    Grayson doesn’t seem to think Clayton is good enough at present and Nunez is more of an attacking midfielder who plays off the strikers (like to see him get some time on the pitch though).

    We have plenty of cover for Snodgrass and Gradel in Watt, McCormack and Sam.