LEEDS United are keen to sign Matt Mills – but Dougie Freedman believes the defender might prefer to stay and fight his corner at the Reebok.

After confirming the Elland Road club has made a tentative enquiry, Freedman claims his centre-half is showing no sign he wants to quit after just a season at Wanderers.

Mills struggled with a hamstring problem in his first season and has been widely tipped to link up once more with his former Reading boss Brian McDermott.

But Freedman insists Mills’ attitude has been good this summer as he battles back to top shape and that the 26-year-old does not fall into the category of an unwanted player in his squad.

“Matt Mills is okay,” he said. “We had an enquiry from Leeds United, a phone call from their chief executive to enquire what his situation was.

“He is a very capable defender who I would like to keep, but like everybody, if the right offer comes in and he tells me he wants to go, then he can go.

“I only want people at this football club who show the right attitude to being here – not someone who thinks we owe him a favour for what he has done in the past, or last year. Matt has shown the right attitude and is someone I’d like to work with.”

With Zat Knight and David Wheater looking likely to start the season as the first choice centre-half partnership, Mills may have to be patient before getting his chance.

Rumours of Leeds’ interest have persisted all summer but while there have been doubts poured on the club’s financial clout to sign the defender outright, a loan deal has also been suggested as a possibility.

With only Tim Ream and Cian Bolger currently as back-up, it would be a surprise to see Wanderers sanction a loan move at this stage unless the majority of his salary would be taken up by the Yorkshire club.

But while Freedman admits Mills will have to wait in line, he sees no reason why he cannot again force his way into the first team.

“I’ve spoken to him a lot and he’s a good guy,” the manager said. “He works hard and wants to play.

“Last season he didn’t quite get in the team but he’s in there fighting for his position.

“If he can accept that he has got to fight for it then he stays.

“Ideally I’d want him to stay because of his attitude to training.”