Billy Sharp has completed his transfer to Leeds United, and claims the club have been trying to sign him for the past three or four years.
The 28-year-old has struggled to make an impact at Southampton, who paid a reported £1.8million for his signature in January 2012. During his time on the South Coast, the striker played just 17 league games, of which only two came in the Premier League. And having spent time on loan at Nottingham Forest, Reading and Doncaster Rovers over the past couple of years, it had become clear his days at St Mary’s were numbered.
Sharp has now penned a two-year deal with Leeds, who are thought to have persuaded the Saints to let them have him on a free transfer, although the Yorkshire club are believed to have paid £600,000 owed to him for the final year of his contract. And the player has revealed the Elland Road club have been on his trail for some time, and he is now delighted to have the opportunity to pull on the famous white shirt.
“For three or four years, they have been on the verge of signing me but it’s never really happened,” he told Sky Sports. “But I heard in the summer they were interested and I’ve held out for it and I’m really delighted. I can’t wait to get going. A few other clubs were interested but Leeds wanted me the most and I’m happy to be at such as good club.”
Sharp began his career at Sheffield United, for whom he has had two spells, and his CV also includes spells at Rushden & Diamonds (loan) and Scunthorpe United. Meanwhile, Leeds have also signed Chesterfield defender Liam Cooper, 22, who has penned a three-year deal after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee for the transfer.