Do Leeds United now have a free run at signing Aston Villa's Tommy Elphick?

Leeds United manager Thomas Christiansen leaves the field during the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Leeds United at Portman Road on January 13, 2018 in Ipswich,...

Millwall looked set to compete with Leeds United for Aston Villa defender Tommy Elphick but the Lions are in talks with Derby County's Jason Shackell.

Tommy Elphick of Aston Villa and Sone Aluko of Fulham in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Aston Villa at Craven Cottage on April 17, 2017 in London, England.

Tommy Elphick might have belatedly proved his worth to Aston Villa during the busy Christmas period, but the Midlands giants need to sell in order to fund new arrivals. And the centre-back could be one of the prime candidates to leave before the end of the transfer window.

According to the Sun (23rd January, page 55), Leeds United are keen to take the 30-year-old off Villa’s hands. It is understood that Leeds, who are also reportedly interested in a reunion with Ross McCormack, are prepared to pay £2.5 million for Elphick this month.

Villa defender Tommy Elphick in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James' Park on February 20, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

The Whites are the second Championship team who have been linked with the former Bournemouth skipper in January. The Telegraph stated earlier in the month that Millwall were also keen with manager Neil Harris aiming to shore up his defence.

But it appears that Leeds’ task might just have got a little easier with The Lions, who won 4-3 in a dramatic contest at Elland Road on Saturday, turning their attention elsewhere.

The Sun states that Harris has entered talks with Derby County about potentially bringing veteran centre-back Jason Shackell to the New Den on loan for the rest of 2017/18.

Ahmed Musa of Leicester City battles for the ball with Jason Shackell of Derby County during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round replay match between Leicester City and Derby City at The King...

Derby boss Gary Rowett is keen for the out-of-favour Shackell to find a new club and it is unlikely that he will stand in the 34-year-old’s way.

And if Millwall manage to conclude a deal for Shackell, this surely brings an end to their interest in Elphick. Leeds, then, could have a free run.

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