LEEDS United have offered Andy O’Brien a chance to kick-start his career in the Championship.

The experienced centre-half is poised to link-up with the Elland Road club today in a month-long deal to help shore up a defence that has conceded 15 goals in its last five outings.

Although the current agreement sees him link-up with Leeds until the end of November, it is thought if his spell on the other side of the Pennines proves successful, it could lead to a permanent move when the transfer window re-opens in January.

Owen Coyle had previously rejected Middlesbrough’s offer to take the former Republic of Ireland international on loan, but has since changed his mind after Sam Ricketts showed himself to be a capable understudy to first-choice centre-half pairing Zat Knight and Gary Cahill.

O’Brien has played just 42 minutes of Premier League football this season and missed his big chance to impress after limping off after just 18 minutes of the 1-1 draw against Aston Villa with a hamstring injury.

The Harrogate-born 31-year-old is in the last year of his contract and hinted over the summer that he would be prepared to drop a division to secure a permanent move away from the Reebok.

Leeds’ outspoken chairman Ken Bates hinted that a change in personnel was imminent after watching his side beaten 4-0 at home by Cardiff City on Monday night.

And speaking yesterday, Simon Grayson admited he is a long-time admirer of the former Bradford City and Newcastle United defender.

“My standard answer is that we’re always looking to improve the squad,” he said. “But Andy O’Brien is someone I’'m obviously aware of and might be available. He’s gained fantastic experience with the clubs he’s been at.

“Until we sign any player then people will have to wait and see but I would think that there might be a new player in for the weekend. I'm not saying which position that's going to be.

“I’d like to think I can get someone who can make us better. We don’t need squad players, we need people who can go straight into the team and show the characteristics we require to win games at this club. Any player who comes in at this moment had to be ready for that.”