The market has heated up this week. Neil Warnock told of his hard work, doing plenty of homework to put his targets in order, but now is the time when the experienced wheeler and dealer will see some minor coups, or a lot of Grayson-esque frustration.
This time last season Leeds manager Simon Grayson saw a drop in budget of £2m, but is doing well at Huddersfield, signing talented Palace winger Sean Scannell, as well as promising Man City youngster Oliver Norwood. Grayson’s also thought to be close to signing Adam Clayton for a surprisingly low fee of around £500,000. Sources suggest that Adam Clayton is still very reluctant to leave Leeds, but the youngster has caught the eye of several top Championship and some lower Premier League clubs. Grayson’s interest is the firmest, but Burnley and Reading could out-muscle the League One promotion specialist if they decide to make a move.
- Football players are well known to take Sports nutrition.
Meanwhile, Bolton have made a bid for Andy Lonergan according to Sky Sports, but local media suggest Wanderers have not offered enough to tempt Warnock. Leeds will look for Paddy Kenny to arrive before allowing Lonergan to leave. The keeper may not be excited at the prospect of switching a backup role at Leeds for a backup role at Bolton, though it will be closer to home.
Leeds’ deal for Paddy Kenny might be in danger. Sources suggest Kenny has completed a medical at Leeds on Wednesday, but that QPR are now asking for more money at the last minute. If true, it is hard to believe that this will be anything but counter-productive. Warnock’s a realist and his past work with Kenny will probably not see him held to ransom. YEP’s sources, however, disagree. They claim that Kenny’s planned holiday along with Shaun Harvey’s workload elsewhere, means the deal will not go through until next week, although it has been agreed in principle.
YEP have also singled out Simon Cox (pictured) as another under Warnock’s surveillance. The 25 year old is contracted to West Brom and was part of Ireland’s Euro 2012 team. Although a ‘long term target’ of Celtic’s, Keith Andrews’ snub in favour of Ipswich shows that despite Celtic’s size, the prospect of what is increasingly becoming a cul-de-sac for footballers can’t compare with football on the fringes of the Premier League.
YEP sources have confirmed the long-standing Peltier link saying the clubs are negotiating for a deal that could be complete this week.
Despite calling for more time, Luke Chambers will need a lot of convincing to turn down Ipswich’s offer which would grant him a wage of around £15,000 – Leeds’ average first-team wage last season was closer to around £6,500. Nevertheless, Warnock seems serious in his interest and he has done enough to convince the centre-back to bide his time for now.
Richard Keogh, yesterday’s headline rumour, is apparently the centre of a bidding war. The centre-back, who also doubles on the right, is apparently being pursued in tandem with Chambers. Welsh media suggest Bristol City have had a laughable £250,000 bid turned down, but that Cardiff’s apparent £750,000 bid is being taken seriously. Leeds are thought to be on the verge of making a ‘substantial’ rival bid which might rely on unwanted players leaving first. Demoted Coventry are said to need cash up-front and so newly bought Cardiff look the favourites to win this race unless Leeds can secure cash one way or another.
If Bristol City miss out on Keogh, they will compete for Cardiff’s outgoing centre-back Anthony Gerrard. At 26 Anthony, cousin of Steven, has learnt his trade at Everton’s youth academy, and made over 150 appearances for Walsall before being spotted by Cardiff in 2009, where he has since made 60 appearances (and a full season on loan to Hull). If Leeds miss out on both Keogh and Chambers, which seems unlikely given Warnock’s reputation in the market, they might decide to hijack this deal. Although Keogh is understood to be the hot property as far as centre-backs go, Anthony Gerrard is proven at this level. As usual, missing out on the best deals early on might prove far more expensive in the long run with Gerrard apparently commanding around double Richard Keogh’s fee as Cardiff have no financial need to sell. Blackburn have been linked with a move for him, so even for Gerrard, Leeds would face stiff competition.
Luke Varney, whose heart is apparently set on joining Leeds, is being linked with a £200,000 move. He has apparently rejected Nottingham Forest.
Finally, this morning London-based media has suggested that Leeds could line-up a bid for QPR striker DJ Campbell. Campbell was signed from Rangers last season for £1.25m, however a few injuries have meant Campbell hasn’t featured much for QPR. The 30 year-old’s injury status will limit the price QPR can quote, but Campbell has extensive experience with Birmingham, Leicester and Blackpool on his CV. He finished Blackpool’s Premier League season as their top scorer with 13 goals to his name. Interest is rumoured to come from West Ham and Reading, but QPR are likely to make at least a £500,000 loss on the striker.
As usual fans would be well advised to take a pinch of salt with these rumours, but it looks like crunch time for Leeds as a few deals Warnock has genuinely set up will either be completed or will fail in the next couple of weeks.