Lonergan wanders off to Bolton as Leeds move for Austin

LEEDS United keeper Andy Lonergan is expected to be unveiled as a Bolton Wanderers player today.

Lonergan underwent a medical at Wanderers last night after Trotters boss Owen Coyle won the race to sign the Preston-born keeper for a fee in the region of £250,000 – beating off interest from Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday, who tabled similar offers.

Money from the sale of Lonergan is set to be used to help push through a deal to bring SK Brann’s defensive midfielder Rodolph Austin to Elland Road, with the Jamaican international desperate to join United, who tabled a bid of around £200,000 late last week.

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Brann are thought to be willing to sell Austin, who has turned down a new deal and could leave for nothing when his current deal expires in December, for a fee in the region of £300,000.

United officials are in ongoing discussions with their counterparts at Brann, although the timing of the transfer remains an issue with Rodolph’s club - struggling near the bottom of the Norweigan Premier League - keen for their most influential player to play in their home game against Aalesund this Sunday.

Ideally, Brann would like to keep the 27-year-old until August 1 - when the Norwegian transfer window re-opens and they are free to buy players on the domestic market.

But it’s likely that if a deal is agreed, Rodolph will leave straight after this weekend’s game.

Speaking to reporters after Sunday’s 6-2 win with Odd Grenland - when he scored a fine long-range goal - Austin confirmed his desire to leave, saying: “I am 27 years now, and I think the timing is right. But it is between the clubs. If I can go to Leeds, that’s something I would like.

“I don’t know if this was my last game here, but if it was, then it was a perfect way to finish.”

Austin first came to United boss Neil Warnock’s attention in January 2011 when he took him to old club QPR on a week’s trial.

The tough-tackling midfielder impressed during his brief stint in West London, with Warnock keen to sign him on loan for the second half of the 2010-11 campaign.

But Brann’s insistence that QPR should pay a loan fee of around £200,000 ahead of an option to buy Austin, who they valued at £2m, scuppered hopes of a deal.

Meanwhile, United face being priced out of the bidding to sign Leicester City full-back Lee Peltier with the Foxes reportedly turning down a hefty-six-figure bid from Simon Grayson’s Huddersfield Town - worth an overall package of around £650,000 - for his services.

Peltier is currently in Austria with his City team-mates on a week-long training camp.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has confirmed his interest in out-of-contract Whites star Aidan White, although he has dampened down talk of an imminent move.

The 20-year-old, due to speak with United boss Neil Warnock about his future this week, is also wanted by several Premiership and Championship clubs.

Lennon said: “Aidan interests us but nothing’s near to happening there. I’m going with what I’ve got at the moment.”

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