Rumoured Brighton swap target wants to stay at Leeds

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Ross McCormack has said he wants to start the new season as a Leeds United player despite speculation he is being lined up as part of a swap deal with Brighton’s Craig Mackail-Smith.

Skys Sports and a string of national newspapers have carried stories detailing Elland Road boss Neil Warnock’s interest in the Seagulls’ Scotland star, with some suggesting the Albion are keen on a cash plus McCormack deal.

However, the Leeds player has been quoted today as saying that, in an ideal world, he will stay where he is.

The 25-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract, said, “Everyone knows there has been offers for me which have come into the club, and the club have turned them down.

“I’m just waiting on an offer of a new contract and we’ll take it from there.

“I’ve said from day one, I’ve got a house here, I’ve got an eight-month old baby, my missus is happy here, and my choice would be to stay at Leeds so hopefully the offer is one that I think is acceptable.”

The Scotland international has also attracted attention from Crystal Palace and Huddersfield, with rumoured interest from the likes of Norwich City in the Premier League.

But, with Warnock naming Mackail-Smith as his top transfer target and Brighton boss Gus Poyet needing to strengthen his attacking options, a swap deal being talked about.

Warnock himself says he wants to keep McCormack and said, “I don’t want to sell him unless something happens that we can’t turn down.”

Without including McCormack in any bid for Mackail-Smith, Leeds will likely have to shell out upwards of £3million for the striker.