Could Will Buckley's move to Leeds United put Sam Byram's future at Elland Road in doubt?

Sunderland were one of the teams credited with holding an interest in Leeds United defender Sam Byram over the summer.

The impending switch which will bring Sunderland's Will Buckley to Leeds United could be a precursor to another deal between the two sides in January.

The Black Cats' interest in Sam Byram has been widely discussed over the summer, with the Daily Mail just one of a number of sources to carry reports of their desire to bring the youngster to the Stadium of Light.

So far, Leeds have rebuffed any offers that have come their way for the right-sided star, but their bargaining position is starting to weaken.

Byram's contract at Leeds expires next summer, and the two parties have not been able to agree a new deal, meaning that he could become available on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Although Leeds would be able to collect a fee from a tribunal, due to Byram's age, the money they would receive for his services would not reflect his actual value - and the Yorkshire club may realise that the January transfer window is the last chance they have in which to demand a fair fee for the academy graduate.

By bringing in Buckley they have already secured the services of a replacement, and he could be used as a sweetener to set-up a permanent transfer for Byram in January, providing he impresses during his loan spell.

The winger appears to have little future at Sunderland, after failing to make an impact, but he would offer Leeds plenty of quality - as a proven Championship performer - if he signed on a full-time basis.

Byram has been utilised in a right-wing position this season, and he hasn't looked entirely comfortable, with his better performances generally coming at right-back, but Buckley is a natural in the position. 

The 25-year-old has previously shown his class at Brighton & Hove Albion, and there is an argument to suggest that he could be an upgrade on Byram in an attacking sense. 

It means that the blow of losing Byram would be softened for Leeds, especially as they have just agreed a deal with the in-form Gaetano Berardi, who has been the side's first choice right-back this term, leaving them fully equipped to cope even if they are to lose one of their better players in January. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch