Whilst I was creating religious warfare today, the rumours and stories of Leeds United’s ins and outs continued.

James McArthur

I’ve touched upon the James McArthur rumour once before, but it seems to be gathering momentum with the newspapers claiming Simon Grayson has tabled a £1m bid (plus add-ons) to top that of Wigan, who have already submitted a bid of £800,000.

The Hamilton Academicals youngster is said to be keen on a move to Elland Road where he’ll link up with former Scotland U21 team mate, Robert Snodgrass. One of those “close sources” the papers also cite says that;

“If Leeds make it back to the top flight they are obviously a bigger club than Wigan..

..Leeds have topped Wigan’s offer and if they continue being successful they are one of the biggest teams in the country.”

Harsh words for any Wigan fan to read, but unavoidably true. Whether the potential of Leeds United is enough remains to be seen, but if the £1m bid is true, it would certainly put an end to claims that Simon Grayson has no money to spend this summer.

Billy Paynter

Swindon chairman, Adam Filton is resigned to losing star-striker Billy Paynter after he saw his team lose to Millwall in the League One play-off final.

Rumours surrounding Billy Paynter weren’t uncommon before the play-offs, but their chairman admits their failure may have put the final nail in the coffin of his Swindon Town career;

“I don’t think he will stay.

“We would like him to stay but he is out of contract and if he has an offer from a Championship club – which we suspect he has – then we are never going to be able to compete with that.”

Chairman says he thinks Paynter has had an offer from a Championship club and Leeds United are known to be in the market for a proven goalscorer. Put the two together and it’s an easy news days for the papers, but this is one of those links with an element of believability to it. He’s free – which Ken Bates will like – and scores plenty of goals. 29 last season to be precise.

Alan Sheehan

One of the most puzzling things for us Leeds United fans last season was Simon Grayson’s decision to play Andy Hughes out of position at left-back, when we had players that fit that role already. One such player was Alan Sheehan. Larry’s refusal to play him defied all logic, but it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see him and Sheehan aren’t the best of friends. Speaking about his departure, Alan said;

“I’ll be leaving Leeds, as long as Simon Grayson is there I won`t be there anyway. I’ll be happy to be leaving I suppose and move on with my career.”

You can’t help but notice the bitterness in that statement. His direct reference to Simon Grayson suggests the two never really saw eye-to-eye and that Alan would find it impossible to work with (should Simon decide he wants to work with Alan of course).

I remember when Simon joined Leeds United, I was told by a couple of Blackpool fans that he took no prisoners and was well-known for falling out with players and leaving them to rot on the sidelines. Maybe it was a similar case with Rui Marques too, as even the most uneducated football fan could see Naylor’s legs had gone towards the end of last season?

  • superhoops

    The lads on the incredible Square Ball podcast were saying that Sheehan was a bad influence on Bradley Johnson, he he used to get to accompany him in wild rumpus in Leeds.

    Paynter for free would be a great signing.

  • Craig

    I don’t suppose it has anything to do with Sheehan getting sent off more than once? It could be said that Tres ruined his chances in a similar way. If so, Max had better watch out.

  • Dje

    Unless I missed some of the press releases, the General McArthur talk seemed to come as much from the staff at Hamilton Academicals as anywhere else – and noticeably more so than from the Scottish lad himself.

    I read that as a pauper Scottish club trying to pimp-up one of its few ‘prize jewels’ down South; using the ever dependable Leeds’ [“we don’t talk about transfers”] transfer talk as a way to up the ante with Wigan.

    The poor lad is probably holding out for a ‘dream move’ to Blackpool.

    • timm

      I tend to fin that Scottish clubs conduct their business with far more integrity than those south of the border, & as for Mcarthur not commenting, that’s because he’s on holiday in Mexico & being kept informed of developments.

  • Paul South Wales

    Burnley seem close to securing the services of Billy Sharpe if Sky Sports News is anything to go by. As for McArthur, don’t know if we’d shell out £1m for an unproven SPL player, is he that good then? Paynter and one quality CCC striker maybe the key up front, let’s wait and see who accompanies him in our new strikeforce. Strange to see Beckford on Sky being interviewed and saying “I’ve scored goals at all the clubs i’ve been at” as if he dare not mention Leeds. MOT

  • Shaun malone

    We need billy sharp not paynter sharp is proven and got goals at all is clubs where paynter only had 1 good season last. sign billy sharp and the beckford will be a memory by time first month gone MOT

  • tim campbell

    Paynter was always going to be an obvious choice because the ‘price’ was right, I think it wud be a gud piece of business bringing him in – he’s young, eager, can score and will want to prove himself at this level. As for McArthur, he could be an unpolished diamond in midfield; we got snoddy from up the road and this lad can be just as good. I’ve said it before look down through the years and see the rich talent from north of the border that has enjoyed success at leeds. Another name linked with us a lot has been John Eustace on a free

    • rich

      I deliver to a pub in Sheffield where billy sharps best man drinks, and the landlord tells me that leeds clinched the deal in jan and wanted to wait for beckford to do one, trust me, his squad number is 24. Watch this space…

      • Pete

        If that’s true, I’ll buy you a drink.

        Seems odd that he wouldn’t get 9 though…

      • Thats why hes gone to Burnley then mate?

  • tim campbell

    Can someone tell me if billy sharp was so good, why the blades farmed him out on loan – if he’s not good enough to get in their team and he’s good enough to get in ours what does that say?

    • TheReaper08

      His overall goal record isn’t too bad at 0.46 goals per league game, it is only his spell at the Blades which stops it from being a goal every other game.

      He wouldn’t be my 1st choice but equally I wouldn’t be gutted if we signed him.

    • Matt bb

      Sharp plays well in footballing sides, doncaster and scunthorpe play the ball on the field, unlike mr blackwell, and lets not forget he loaned out becks, who prospered at scunthorpe, and brought in geoff horsfield.

      • TheReaper08

        A very good point very well made. ‘Blackwell’ and the ‘beautiful game’ are not three words you will ever see in a sentence describing how he likes to play the game.

        • Matt bb

          He had some rare moments of footballing nous, but yes, he was no clough! I imagine he will relish the opportunity to balk ken bates in the transfer market, perhaps this will have a bearing on our sheffield feeder club’s attitude to approaches from leeds?

        • TSS

          Agreed. The football on display whilst Blackwell was at Leeds was worse than the “we’ll score again” stuff witnessed under George Graham.

        • I’ve never forgiven blackwell for his diabolical tactics against Watford in that play-off final, sitting back the way we did when our strenghths were up front

          • Jon Burgess

            I agree. One of the worst performances by leeds i have ever seen. Complete lack of guts. I was nearly in tears that day, not because we lost, but because of the way we lost and the pure frustration i felt. Thank Larry those daze are behind us:):):)

      • Craig

        This is a very insightful observation. I’m feeling better about the prospect of Sharp now.

    • Craig1919

      Let’s be honest we are very unlikely to get Hooper if £2.5m is the correct price… Sharp is a very good player in the Championship, less than £1m for almost 1 goal in 2 games ratio is a very good buy. Paynter for free is worth a punt, you may think he’s not great cos he’s been loaned out however he’s simply fallen out of favour with management which is normal and happens at every club. I saw that Eustace was linked in an earlier post… if we get him and Montgomery we will have a mean tough spine of midfield!

  • TheReaper08

    Not convinced by Paynter and not too many of the locals down here are either, trust me they would be devastated if Charlie Austin left but Paynter they are so so about. I look for a little bit of something extra from a striker (pace, poise, good in the air etc. etc.) and I don’t see that he does anyone one of those exceptionally well.

    As for Sheehan well I can tell you from my industry sources that the lad is a bad egg, similar to what superhoops said above. He was ostricised from the camp for the overall good of the squad. No surprise to see him do well at Swindon but wait until he earns a contract.

    I don’t know much about James McArthur but I hope the rumours are true if not for anything else but to quiten the doom mongers for a bit.

    • I’m really struggling to get ideas to fill this striker position, i agree with the attributes you’ve put, but i honestly can’t think of anyone. Unless we loan a premier league team’s reserve/youth striker, otherwise its gonna be a gamble on someone!

      • Matt bb

        Becks main asset was pace, get watt on a season long loan and we have becchio and grella to knock in goals… I reckon we’ll see some movement soon.

        • TheReaper08

          Pace is the one for me, team’s hate it and coupled with a bit of skill it is virtually impossible to defend against.

          • Then you wud definitely be shouting for austin to be a possibility reaper, the guys got pace aplenty and was unfortunate to miss that chance at wembley due in no small part to that crap pitch – vela on loan might be tastey, we seem to have a good working relationship with the gooners at the minute

          • Matt bb

            Watt on a seasons loan would definitely be good business, i hope they can bring him back. Despite his petulance gradel has that too, and linked up well with becchio..

          • TheReaper08

            Yes Tim, Austin would be the one for me. I think he may well have that little something extra, being in his first season of pro football he is still a risk.

          • Craig

            Every signing is a risk Reaper. Better to spend on a youngster who can be improved by good coaching.

    • I personally would’nt see paynter as our no1 striker but he could do a job alongside our main target..whoever that may be?

      • TheReaper08

        I would take him as long as it was alongside someone else. Worst case scenario is he doesn’t cut it and we sell him back to a L1 side.

    • timm

      I agree. I’d much rather have Austin than Paynter, he just looks more exciting to me? I was gutted for him at Wembley with the dreaded bobble.

  • Paynter on a free? How can we argue with that? As for the McArthur lad, not seen him play but if Grayson is willing to splash out for him he can’t be bad, could be a bargain buy like Snoddy was!
    Didn’t actually mind Sheehan, good free-kick taker, but as long as we have Parker fit i’m not too fussed, and apparently we’re getting Lowry back on a season long loan, i was indifferent when i watched him last season though, can’t be worse than Capaldi!!

    • Matt bb

      Capaldi’s available on a free… Bates’ favourite price… He couldnt be that cheap could he?

      • TSS

        I’d expect him to pay us to take him on. Worst player I’ve seen at Elland Road this season (and that includes the embarrassment that was Showunmi)

        • capaldi was aweful, got torn apart by Kettering town says it all!

        • Matt bb

          Thats only going to excite ken further.. Players paying to play for leeds..

          • timm

            Steady on Matt, you’re in danger of turning yet another post into yet another anti-Bates rant. So far we’ve made one signing & make no mistake, Schmeichel will be on very competetive wages.Let’s just wait & see before judging.

          • Craig

            lol!

  • Matt bb

    Managers prerogative to boot out players he doesnt like, if you have staff with a bad attitude but good at their job they are a liability.. Sorry to see sheehan go but he never had a good game for us, and then went on to be a brick for swindon. I really hope that we have looked for better options than paynter.

    • I do too matt but all i’m saying is its a no brainer, hes on a free, if it doesn’t work out he can always move on. I’d love Kris Boyd from Rangers or Carlos Vela on a seasons loan but i don’t think its gonna happen on either

      • Matt bb

        Fair enough, we’re used to being disappointed.. We need though as lorro put it to get a top class replacement, hopefully he is speaking, advisedly and we do?

  • yorkwhite

    Two updates per day from TSS are just too much for me. I’ll be going to bed all confused now. So far we have Paynter up front with McArthur in the middle but earlier you said that Karl Marx would be on the left, I think that’s his natural side but where does that leave Mother Teresa? Has anyone else heard that Desmond Tutu has refused to sign a new contract which in turn could free up Nelson Mandela as back up for Kasper? Good night.

    • TSS

      Haha, no worries mate. it’s all irrelevant when you’ve got God watching over Elland Road (Ready to smite us no doubt!)

      • TheReaper08

        Ready to smite you after your earlier article, leave the rest of us out of it.

        • TSS

          Haha, what can I say? I enjoy stirring it up a little. Besides, it was almost as irritating as a bunch of rockstars begging us to give up our hard-earned cash to save the planet (whilst they fly around it in private jets!)

    • Jon Burgess

      Lol! So long as we dont sign Julius Malema or Boob Mugabe. Im a happy leeds fan:)

  • DubaiWhite

    Why in all the post’s is it one or the other? What happened to a bit of ambition?

    If Paynter is free get Sharp in as well!! Have Sharp and Becchio upfront and Paynter biting at their heels or vice versa. Neither fill me with loads of confidence but if the both get 15 goals a peice you’ve matched Beckfords 30!

    McArther sounds like just the player we need, a playmaker. Someone who will get the ball down and play it. Him and Kilkenny in the middle sounds like a receipe for good football.

    Carlos Vela is a cracking shout on loan for the season. Anthony Stokes or Derek Riordan from Hibs would be a good signings.

  • Shaun malone

    Billy sharp not in sheffield side coz blackwell dont like young players I agree we need young hungry players Tht are right for the clubs that y kasper s will be great signing a good keeper can earn u 10-15 points a season for me left bak not problem we got parker and white we need right bak and centre bak and a combat midfielder some one to break up the play and if i was picking a bargain to sign brodie from york

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  • whiter than white

    As I see it, so far everything is a product of the silly season. If we sign any players it will be someone we or the daily mail have thought of, a la young Kasper. Now that was a left field bombshell.

    • whiter than white

      That should read “not thought of”

  • Colin

    I don’t buy the rumours on McArthur, Paynter and I’m not getting all moist about Charlie Austin either.

    Leeds don’t do their business in public as shown by the Schmeichel signing which took us all by surprise.

    If McArthur’s agent wants to get more money out of Wigan then it wouldn’t surprise me to see Leeds’ name thrown in there. And I very much doubt that Leeds would put down £1m for a player, when Wigan have only put £800k in. If Hamilton are happy to take £800k then there’s no way that Leeds are going to pay an extra 20% to open negotiations.

    Billy Paynter – what I don’t get is the chairman’s comment “if he has an offer from a Championship club – which we suspect he has” – even if his contract is expiring, he’s still a Swindon player. Surely any interested club have to speak to the club first while he’s under contract??

    Either way – I just don’t like the sound of him – i think we need a better calibre player.

    And as for Charlie Austin – has anyone really really heard of him until Reaper mentioned him? I guess he could be great, but I’ve not heard anyone mentioning him from my set of friends who support CCC teams.

    Sorry, but Paynter and Austin don’t do it for me – Leeds need a quality player to replace the guaranteed goals that Beckford would have got. That’s a major loss and Becchio, Grella, Somma are not the players to fill that void or get the goals we’re going to need to do well next season.

    • TSS

      To be fair, in regards to McArthur, Leeds are probably the club with the smallest budget alleged to be chasing him. They didn’t really need to add us when Rangers, Wigan and a couple of others are already being linked.

      • Colin

        But stick Leeds into a rumour and it gets press coverage, just like the way I click on links from NewsNow because Leeds get a mention only to find it’s not really about Leeds.

        I heard he’s mates with Snodgrass too and that’s another reason he’ll join Leeds – I just don’t buy it TSS.

        I just think it could be a case of add Leeds into the story and it gets more coverage.

        I can’t remember the last time that Leeds actually signed a player that we’d been rumoured to be chasing. Every player we get seems to come from nowhere and surprise us.

        TSS – By the way, have you any info on whether we still have that turd Dickov on the books? When’s he getting released?

        • TSS

          I don’t mate. It’s funny you should mention that actually as me and a friend were asking the same question the other day. Surely Larry isn’t so blinded by their friendship he thinks Dickov can play in the CCC?

          • TheReaper08

            He left after the last game of the season and is no longer connected to the club. There is a rumour going (primarily wikipedia) around that he us due to be announced as Oldham’s player manager but I can’t find anything to support this.

          • Sammy Becchio

            Dickov confirmed as Oldham manager now

    • We’re only playing with the cards that are on the table colin – if you have a few aces up you’re sleeves i’d love to see them. Admitedly its all pure speculation but who would you have a punt on?

      • Colin

        I don’t know Tim – i think we’ll lose more players than we bring in but what we do bring in will be quality. I think we’ve got the keeper and I think SG will sign 1 quality striker (to replace Becks), 1 midfielder (central to replace Doyle) and 1 central defender (to replace Naylor) and that’ll be it. Anything else will be loans.

        I do think the rumours are all a bit local – either English or Scottish players. I would have thought we’d be looking into continental Europe or Africa as well. I’d put good money on at least one of those 3 potential signings that I mentioned above, being based (currently plying their trade) outside of Britain or Ireland.

        Well that’s my thoughts for what it’s worth!!

        • TheReaper08

          SG has no real record of signing players from abroad. He likes what he considers to be good solid home based options so I would be surprised if any of our key positions were filled with realtive unknowns plying there trade abroad.

          I think Scotland is about as foreign as your gonna get.

          • Colin

            If that is the case then it’s a shame. Gwyn Williams should pull his finger out and get scouting. I guess to be fair to SG he was never going to excite many players outside Britain to join either a League 1 team or Blackpool!!

        • Jon Burgess

          “1 midfielder (central to replace Doyle)” – Is Doyle leaving? I was under the impression he was going to sign for us permanently??

          • Craig

            I’m not sure I saw Doyle on either of the infamous lists. My guess is that he’s leaving at the end of his loan period.

    • timm

      That Jermaine Defoe at Spurs could probably do a decent job for us?

  • Just had one last look at leeds news now before bed and it says John Eustace has rejected a new contract and signed for leeds united – IF and its a BIG IF its true; it wud be very good business

    • Colin

      Good catch Tim –
      John Eustace agrees Leeds United move as Watford prepare to reveal he has resigned

      http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/sport/8191392.Watford_shocked_as_Eustace_joins_Leeds/

      “The Golden Boys were preparing to announce Eustace had agreed a new two-year deal with the club on Wednesday morning but then the player was ‘unable to make it to Watford’ to sign.”

      “Hornets’ boss Malky Mackay said: “Leeds approached John very late on and wanted to talk to him. “John is a great professional and I wish him nothing but the best with his future career.”

      • Think it is good business colin, and another freebie?

        • Colin

          And I’m pretty sure that will annoy Watford no end that we’ve got their players Player of the Year.

          We’ve only been promoted 2 minutes and already we’re bossing the Championship teams. I’m loving it!

          A bit cheeky of us to steal a player who’s about to sign a 2 year extension but hey we’re Dirty Leeds!

          Let’s hope he’s as good for us as he was for Watford!!

          • Craig

            Looks like the article has been withdrawn so don’t count your chickens yet.

  • Reading the article it has confirming comments from malkay mackay watfords manager – so its looks as if its a done deal – he was their player of the year

    • Thinyogurtontour

      The last player of the year we signed was Andy Robinson and look how well he did!

  • timm

    Well that’s Eustace bagged & Montgomery’s turned down a new contract at Sheff Utd & being strongly linked to us. Surely we can’t be going for Mcarthur as well? 3 midfielders? I wonder if we’ll be signing now? Too much to ponder! Im off to bed.

    • timm

      Meant to say ‘i wonder if we’ll be signing Doyle now?’

      • Colin

        No

        • Mike Kraczkowski

          I did slate Doyle a bit last season and i suppose he did an alright job but he always seemed to give the ball away and just seemed ineffective to me. I like the look of these players we’re being linked with, but like everyone has said, we don’t do business publicly!

    • Paulufc

      http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/sport/Leeds-United-Whites-set-to.6335688.jp

      Monty is gonna sign a new deal at the Pigs by the look of it

  • Benjamin Bunny

    So what do we know about this guy then? Someone whack up the stats.

    • Colin

      described as (on wiki) tough tackling, no-nonsense attitude, with passing skills and composure on the ball

      stats for last season: 39 games 4 goals

  • Paul South Wales

    Forget Sharpe, he’s gone to Burnley, so his best man was talking shite!

    • Pete

      Has he definitely gone there? I thought Burnley just signed Chris Iwelumo…not saying Billy Sharp hasn’t signed too, but it’d seem like overkill if he had.

  • Remis (South Africa)

    I think we should also be looking at what we have, Somma did really well while he was out on loan at the imps scoring 9 goals in 11 games? As well as setting up many other goals and some of his finishes were fantastic!!! Also Grella has been described by many of our current players as the most skilled striker we have in our side. I think that in pre season something worth looking at would be a Somma Grella partnership!!!They also good friends so would work well together…

    • Jon Burgess

      As a fellow SAfrican i would love to see Somma succeed with Leeds, but to make the jump from league 2 to the Championship is a massive task. We’ll see, but i seriously have my doubts.

      Grella on the other hand could be one of those players who kick ass in training, but doesnt really come to the party on match days. He has scored some nice goals, its just his consistency i wonder about.

      Max Gradel (although a dick for what he did on promotion day) looks like a real talent from what ive seen. I havent seen that much of him though … What you gents think of him? assuming his attitude improves of course.

      • Colin

        Jon – Max is committed to the Leeds cause and works hard – he’s got pace and he is a handful. Whether he’s got the skill to do well next season I’m not sure. I guess if the team drop their heads during a game then he’d be good to bring on to liven up the game.

        He’s just a bit crazy – like running full speed at the keeper when there’s absolutely no chance he’s going to get to the ball before the keeper. I reckon he’ll get quite a few games next season though.

        • Mike Kraczkowski

          Got quite a few mates who are Leicester fans and they were dissapointed to see him go, that must show something then?

          • Jon Burgess

            “He’s just a bit crazy – like running full speed at the keeper when there’s absolutely no chance he’s going to get to the ball before the keeper.” – I think i might grow to like him a bit next season after all:) Theres nothing better than a player who gives everything he’s got, even if he’s a bit naive. Becchio and Gradel, plus a new decent strker, (whoever it may be…) im starting to get really excited for the new season:)ahh still so long to wait..

          • Remis (South Africa)

            Yeah i think Somma will need to prove himself in pre season. Think everyone needs to get a fair chance and start from scratch with selection. Gradel has pace and passion and is very good, would like to see more of him next season. I think Grella needs to start a few games it might pay off and he could go on a good run!!!!!

  • Matt bb

    Just thought i’d share a moment of my domestic bliss, mrs matt bb turns to me unexpectedly this morning, so jermaine beckford signed for everton? Well done mrs bb (impressed) so why did you do that? He was at the end of his contract.. Erm he wanted to play in the premier league…, flatly rebutted, you wont get anywhere if you keep selling your best players. As with all discussions you let them have the last word.

    • TheReaper08

      Mrs Reaper just hissed at the TV said shame and walked off.

      • Matt BB

        you cant help but think if they ran more football clubs..

        “Dont even think about the premier league Jermaine!! I’ve got a list of league one and championship clubs for you to score against before you do that.. head out of the clouds and get on with it!”

  • mikelufc

    Just heard that Eustace has decided against us after all!!!!
    And no montgomery!
    Looks like the magic of signing for the mighty whites is fading, or we are simply not paying enough.

    • Matt BB

      it depends on who you believe doesnt it? I think we’ve tried to sign him in the past, but to be fair he’s 30 years old, has been an average player for coventry and watford, is that really what we want? I hope we display more imagination with our signings. Perhaps McArthur is the one we need.

  • Pete

    According to vitalfootball, Paynter will sign a 3-yr deal on July 1st.

    http://www.leeds.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=200624

    Mixed for me, yes he scored a lot of goals, but he doesn’t stand out in any way like Charlie Austin. However, if we got him too then I’d be happy.

    Still think Paynter isn’t going to be our only striker purchase this summer though.

  • Alistair Price

    I have heard the reason Eustace didn’t sign is he failed his medical lol!

    • Theres a lot of mis-information being churned out in the press…that article in that watford rag actually had malkay mackay commenting that eustace had left. Who do ya believe anymore!!!