Sheffield United agree deal for Southend's Leonard

Ryan Leonard of Southend United in action during the Sky Bet League Two match between Northampton Town and Southend United at Sixfields Stadium on January 3, 2015 in Northampton, England.

HITC Sport understands Sheffield United are set to finally sign long-term target.

Ryan Leonard of Southend United in action during the Sky Bet League One match between Southend United and Northampton Town at Roots Hall on September 16, 2017 in Southend, England.

Sheffield United have finally agreed a deal for Southend midfielder Ryan Leonard, HITC Sport understands.

Championship promotion hopefuls Sheffield United have been chasing Leonard since last summer, after seeing multiple bids rejected by Southend during the last transfer window.

United have continued to maintain an interest in Leonard, with Blades boss Chris Wilder a big fan of the 25-year-old.

Wilder has stepped up his interest in Leonard as he looks for midfield reinforcements after losing Paul Coutts for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury in the win against Burton in November.

SOUTHEND, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16:Ryan Leonard of Southend United attempts to control the ball watchd by Yaser Kasim of Northampton Town during the Sky Bet League One match between Southend...

Southend captain Leonard is out of contract at the end of the season but the Shrimpers were reluctant to sell their prize asset in the January transfer window.

However, they have now decided to cash-in on Leonard rather than risk losing him for nothing in the summer and they have accepted United's offer for the all-action midfielder.

Leonard has been given permission to travel to Yorkshire for talks and a medical, with United hoping to tie up a deal for the player within the next 24 hours.

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