Delph to return to Leeds

Villa allow midfielder to move back to Elland Road on loan

Fabian Delph: Returning to Leeds United from Aston Villa

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Sky Sports understands Leeds United are bringing Fabian Delph back to Elland Road on loan from Aston Villa.

The England Under-21 international is poised to return for a month to the club he left in a big-money deal in August 2009. He could return to the starting line-up against Ipswich Town on Saturday if paperwork can be finalised.

The talented midfielder began his career with the Whites, making 46 league appearances, before joining Villa.

He was a regular for Villa in the first half of the season, but has not played since December and has been made available for loan by Alex McLeish.

Leeds manager Simon Grayson has yet to confirm the deal but told the club's official website earlier this week about his admiration for the midfielder.

"Fabian Delph is a good player who knows about Leeds United because he has been here before," he said.

"Fabian Delph is a good player who knows about Leeds United because he has been here before"

Simon Grayson

Quotes of the week

"His name is being bandied around as if he is available for loan. You're not going to draw me on whether we will do it or not, but he's a player, along with others, that would fit the bill.

"He fits the bill because he knows what this club is about and what it means to play here."

Delph made his name at Elland Road before a £6m transfer to Villa but he suffered a cruciate ligament injury the following year and has struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular under McLeish.

McLeish said: "He started seven or eight in a row for us at the start of the season but we've been looking for somebody to give us eight out of 10 performances every week.

"Some of the lads have given some good performances but not quite got to the peak of their powers, and Delph admits that."

McLeish, meanwhile, has left the door open to a deal between Leeds and Eric Lichaj but warned that any transfer involving the right-back would include a recall clause.

Lichaj - who was on loan at Elland Road last season - is among United's targets after recovering from hip surgery.

McLeish said: "We'd consider letting Eric go on loan as well. We'll think about that one but we'll probably look for call-back rather than letting him go out until the end of the season."