Newcastle United and Leeds United have reportedly set their sights on Reading FC’s star midfielder John Swift, ahead of a potential move in January.

According to The Star, Newcastle United and Leeds are among several Premier League sides hot on the trails of Championship midfielder John Swift after his early-season exploits and are keeping a close eye on the player’s contract situation at Reading FC.

After spending his formative years in the youth ranks at Chelsea, Swift only made a single senior outing for the Blues and was loaned out to several lower-tier sides. But it was during his time at Brentford where he first really made an impression in senior football. He scored seven goals in 28 appearances, enough to earn him a permanent switch from Chelsea to Championship outfit Reading.

Swift is currently in his sixth season with the Royals, and he has proved himself as a consistent performer over the years. In total, he has scored 31 goals and assisted a further 31 from 178 appearances across all competitions for the Berkshire outfit.

The 26-year-old has been on an electric run of form for the Royals this campaign, scoring eight goals and providing six assists from just 14 appearances. His elegant displays have not gone unnoticed, with reports suggesting that a host of Premier League clubs, including Newcastle and Leeds, are tracking his progress in the hope of making a move for him in the upcoming transfer window.

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Earlier this month, Newcastle were said to be extensively scouting Swift to bolster their midfield options following a shaky start to the new season that saw them drop into the Premier League’s relegation zone. However, following their Saudi-backed takeover, they have been linked with various high-profile January signings for their survival bid.

With Jonjo Shelvey and Jeff Hendrick struggling for consistency and Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff better suited to defensive midfield duties, the Magpies could arguably do with someone of Swift’s passing and box-to-box ability. Summer arrival Joe Willock has failed to emulate his late-season burst of form while on loan last term. Swift may well prove to be one of those shrewd influential signings that would drive them up the table and kickstart a turnaround.

As for Leeds, they have been keen on recruiting a new central midfielder for a while now but have yet to add to their midfield roster. With Mateusz Klich, Stuart Dallas, Tyler Roberts and Rodrigo largely underperforming in the top-flight this season, having scored just two goals between them, the Whites’ engine room needs a fresh face to challenge the quartet.

There might be some scepticism regarding Swift’s ability to translate his form at the top level, but he has shown signs to be capable enough of making that step up. Moreover, the midfielder’s Reading contract expires in June 2022, which means he could be available for a bargain fee in January or for free next summer. This makes him an attractive proposition.

With a number of top-flight clubs competing for Swift’s signature, it would be interesting to see where the 26-year-old lands come this January.

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