Ex-Aston Villa target Luke Murphy told he can leave Leeds United

Leeds United midfielder Luke Murphy is surplus to requirements at Elland Road - less than 18 months after being linked with Aston Villa.

The Football League loan deadline is just 24 hours away, and clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two are frantically scrambling to bring players in ahead of the busy winter period.

Leeds United don't appear set to make any bids to bring players into the club, but new manager Neil Redfearn wants to trim his squad ahead of the deadline.

The Yorkshire Evening Post revealed on Tuesday that defender Scott Wootton, midfielder David Norris and forwards Noel Hunt and Nicky Ajose will be allowed to leave the club on loan, with Ajose already having joined Crewe Alexandra today.

Hunt seems set for Ipswich Town too, and there could yet be another exit by Thursday evening - midfielder Luke Murphy.

The 23-year-old central midfielder was snapped up for £1m by Brian McDermott in 2013, having impressed with Crewe Alexandra.

Yet in under 18 months, Murphy has gone from being an exciting prodigy to being on the scrapheap, out of favour under Redfearn due to his aversion to tackling, according to Leeds fans.

A move to League One looks almost inevitable, and it's quite the fall from grace for Murphy, who appeared to be the latest youngster to emerge from the famous Crewe academy.

Dean Ashton, Rob Hulse, Billy Jones, Nicky Maynard, Ben Marshall and Nick Powell are some of the recent success stories to emerge from Gresty Road, and Murphy looked destined to be another back in 2013.

Leeds weren't the only team to want Murphy though. They had to beat off interest from Blackburn interest in August 2013, and Aston Villa were widely expected to be interested in him too in a bid to reunite him with his former Crewe midfield partner Ashley Westwood.

Murphy's decline in recent months just highlights how lucky Villa were. In 2012, they were reportedly set to make a £2m bid for Murphy, but will now be counting their blessings that they missed out on his signature.

Paul Lambert was close to wasting even more money, and whilst Murphy obviously has time on his side in a bid to rejuvenate his career, it's becoming a case of what could have been as Leeds look to flog their expensive flop.

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