Just over a week until the transfer window opens and the rumour mill seems to have burst back in to life already with Jermaine Beckford unsurprisingly topping the list.

The most interesting rumour to have emerged so far is the one linking Becks with Middlesbrough, who are currently managed by our former captain, Gordon Strachan. Simon Grayson continues to dismiss all speculation however, reiterating his statement that Jermaine will be going nowhere until the end of the season unless a ‘ridiculous offer’ comes in.

Two reasons why I can’t see Beckford leaving in January; the first is that I simply don’t believe anyone would be stupid enough to pay over the odds for a striker they can sign for free in a few months time. They can even secure his services on a pre-contract once the window opens so it’d be insane to spend millions bringing him in a few months earlier.

The second reason I think he’ll be staying is kind of linked to the first. When we bought Becks from Wealdstone for the bargain price of £45,000, a clause was agreed whereby Wealdstone would receive a percentage of any fee received if Leeds United were to sell him (link is to the Wealdstone chairmans blog). I aren’t entirely sure what the percentage is, but many seem to think it’s 40%, which makes a sale seem even more pointless. Say we were to sell for £3,000,000, of which £1,200,000 goes to Wealdstone. The agents will undoubtedly take a cut as will Jermaine, so the amount of money Leeds will receive would not be enough to get another striker of any actual quality.

Elsewhere, Grayson will undoubtedly be looking to strengthen a few areas. The full-backs still concern me, but Tony Capaldi is clearly not the answer to our problems. His performances so far have been painful to watch. Cardiff are unsurprisingly willing to get rid of him though and confirmed he was available for transfer. Thanks, but no thanks Mr Ridsdale.

Elsewhere, I think the teams pretty strong and more than capable of keeping the results coming. Max Gradel is a player we should definitely move in for but I suspect we’ll extend his loan until the end of the season and look into it then. We may bring one or two in, but I suspect there will be more going in the opposite direction.

Alan Sheehan seems likely to move to Swindon permanently and trimming some of the deadwood wouldn’t hurt matters. David Prutton, Andy Robinson, Enoch Showunmi and one or two others should be shipped out for a start, however much the fans like some of them. They aren’t going to get many games and the wages of their wages will undoubtedly be quite high for this league.

So whilst I think there’ll be some activity for Leeds next month, I don’t think Jermaine will be part of it. The key now is to get rid of some of the weaker players and bring in some Championship quality ones who can perform if/when we achieve promotion. It’s all about streamlining the squad basically.

  • steve

    I heard the Wealdstone Chairman on Talk Sport last week. The sell- on clause for Beckford is for 20%.

  • James Morris

    Totally agree with this. We need to ship out the ‘deadwood’. We have improved so much over this season that the guys who used to get a game haven’t stepped up to the same calibre. Prutton, Sheehan, Ee Orr, Robinson can go for me. Hopefully he will send Vokes and Capaldi back to their parent clubs. Grayson seems to always get one good, one bad in loan signings. I hope that we try and do something on the Gradel and Doyle front to make their moves to ER permanent and give Kisnorbo a 1/2 year contract extension. He should be Captain in my eyes.

  • Old Billy White

    I think that the “writing has been on the wall” for Sheehan for a while.When Parker and Hughes (a right footed left back)were injured he was still behind White and Capaldi (who came on loan and went straight into the team) in the pecking order.
    Agreed would not keep Capaldi or Vokes.
    Also agree about Kisnorbo, an absolute rock, what we were missing at the back last year.

  • Craig

    I agree with much of your logic but, as I said in an earlier post, it would make sense for a team like Middlesborough to take a punt on Beckford NOW if they truly believe he could give them the extra boost they needed to reach the Premiership next season – the financial rewards of promotion (even taking parachute payments into account) could make it an astute move. Likewise, it may make sense to a team at the bottom of the Premiership to take him for the last half of the season if it prevents them being relegated.

    Sure, few of us believe Beckford is the finished article at that level but that isn’t our risk is it? I think we can still be promoted as champions without him – sure, the team would need to adopt different tactics but we have goals throughout the team. We should let him go if anyone wants to take him on to provide them with a boost.

  • Grumpy Older Man

    Robinson, Showunmi and Kandol for me should leave, Prutton is 50/50, can still be a useful asset across the midfield as back up.

    On Beckford one again we disagree, to me for us to let him go on a free at season end sends all the wrong messages. It implies without himit wouldn’t have happened, which is nonsence and it suggests to players we are an easy touch with regard to seeing out contracts. I have long belived is a player isn’t committed enough to sign a contract before he is entitled to talk to other he shouldn’t be in the squad. I would apply that rule to everyone.

  • Eddie

    Agree with Craig. JB’s worth a punt if he gets you to the Prem or keeps you in the Prem.

    Moving out fringe players on big salaries for the division is never easy unless you subsidise their salaries. Here we go again!!!!

  • Old Billy White

    I would rather keep Kandol than Vokes, at least he will win the ball in the air and is a bit more mobile. Maybe we haven’t seen the best of Vokes, but I think he’s had enough chances.

  • Keep This Shed White

    Kandol should be retained. He gives us something extra when he comes on and especially when introduced with Mad Max. Vokes is clearly a good player but has been a disappointment for us. Beckford is an enigma; being so unloved after all these goals is just weird. I can’t remember anything quite like this since Jim Storie in the 60s. They say he’s lazy but I don’t remember Alan Clarke charging around everywhere and we all loved him to bits.

  • Lewis g

    i think we should defintitely get rid of show,robbo,sheehan and end the loans of vokes,martin and capaldi. i know qpr said theyd keep ephraim because he is a quality player but whjat with the change in manager we might be able to do something their. id keep prutton if we dont bring in ephraim permanently otherwise he should go if we do as then well have kilkenny doyle howson for centre two and also johnson can play their if need be

  • Peter T

    I think we may get quite a bit of interest in Becsk from clubs hoping to get up to Prem or avaoid the drop
    The Prem is such a big prize some make take a punt at around £2m
    If we are top at end of Jan Papa Smurf may take the money
    I expect we will have to pay off part of the contracts as we did last Jan with people like Westlake + Sweeney expect Sheehan Robbo Showpony and maybe Huntingdon to go
    The loanees are interesting
    Gradel I expect to stay Leicester do not want him we do They may not want to sell but no reason to recall him unless they get injuries

    If Higgs is a long term injury doubt I hope D Martin may stay as we need cover for Casper or SG may bring in a perm keeper as Casper not likely to be here next season
    Think Capaldi will go back Parker fit again just brought in as cover
    Eprhaim will return I expect as only here to get a bit of fitness is a London lad but there has been a change of Manager so who knows
    Bradley J fit so not really needed
    Vokes has been a bit disappointing but when ge played we won most of the games
    Becchio now fit and with Kandol staying probably do not need another Striker
    BUT I think he will get better and with the Becks situation I think SG may seek to extend and keep extra Striker to win games
    MOT

  • ramblinjohn

    Of the loanees, only Gradel and Martin are worth retaining. But if Vokes, Ephraim and Capaldi all go (and they all have been frankly useless) and we also lose Sheehan, Huntington Robinson and Showunmi (perhaps get shut of is the better term) then he will need to bring in quite a few. Having the bench options has been v useful over xmas and you never know re injuries. Another keeper, a centre half, a winger and a striker I think at least – prefereably ones good enough to sign permanently.