With Robert Snodgrass following the established pattern of key players leaving every window, fans responded to Warnock’s plans for “icing” players with enthusiasm. With the gaffer interested in strikers, rumours grew: Maynard, Bothroyd, Beckford, Mackail-Smith. Mackail-Smith was reportedly the subject of Warnock’s interest, and he didn’t rule out a move for the expensive Beckford. But the big question-mark was the future of our top scorer Ross McCormack.

Dom Matteo reminded us that McCormack’s hunt for Championship top scorer honours took place not in a promotion team, but in a side that collapsed to 14th place. Matteo said:

I heard Neil wondering where the goals would come from and it’s reaching the stage where the club are going to have to seriously consider holding on to Ross McCormack at all costs.

Warnock made no mystery of his stance:

I’d rather keep him and Ross knows that.

But it didn’t necessarily come down to Warnock. The gaffer was utterly determined to keep Robert Snodgrass, but when push came to shove Snodgrass showed a contract means nothing in modern football. But Ross McCormack has given his fans hope. While he hasn’t yet signed a new deal, he has said:

I’m just waiting on an offer of a new contract and we’ll take it from there.

I’ve said from day one, I’ve got a house here, I’ve got an eight month old baby, my missus is happy here, and my choice would be to stay at Leeds so hopefully the offer is one that I think is acceptable.

McCormack, who has showed he thrives in front of a crowd whose size and expectations have broken some players, is probably the cheapest strike option at the club. The expense of a larger contract would be peanuts compared to the transfer fees involved in capturing new targets.

Although Leeds can be hopeful of keeping McCormack, Sky Sports’ sources understand that we are still in for Craig Mackail-Smith, with a deal apparently quite close. The Scot is highly rated and although he struggled for as many goals as he’d like last season, he helped create a lot and looked good.

Meanwhile, Neil Warnock has revealed that he hopes to have a new signing – not a striker – by the Preston game. With rumours surrounding Lee Peltier, it could be one of his targets for the right-back slot.

Rodolph Austin has been granted his work permit and now awaits the paperwork before linking up with the club.

And Billy Paynter has failed to impress in his trial at Blackpool but will now have the chance of impressing Doncaster Rovers on trial. Their assistant manager is hopeful of a deal, saying:

He would be a welcome addition to the squad and we’d be delighted for him to be here.

36 Responses

  1. Dje

    Good news as long as the contract is offered!

    I’m still a little alarmed that Warnock – of the rumours are true – would ever consider swapping a tried and tested goalscorer (McCormack) for a misfiring one (Mackail-Smith). Tis a no-brainer, IMHO.

  2. Gil Fisher

    Do you feel the plan is to bring in a top striker AND keep Ross? We would then presumably be looking 4-4-2, with Varney out wide?

    Also curious as thoughts on the central midfield this year, relative to last year.

  3. Matthew

    Ross McCormack absolutely without any doubt should stay. He’s one of few remaining shining stars at the club.

    Although I know how good the new recruits are from seeing them play against us etc, I won’t be judging them properly until they’ve played a few Championship games for us, its only fair.

    Hopefully he gets his contract sorted, itd be the best bit of news all transfer window.

    Ross McCormack, the Leeds fans love you, stay :)

  4. Henryv

    Mackail-Smith is fast, and works very hard at closing down defenders.
    He never gives up!!!
    An NW type of player and a fan’s favourite.

    • mrbigwheels

      Agree HenryV…

      He worked well with Boyd at the Posh and I can see Boyd coming up to Leeds very soon… They would be perfect additions with the view of keeping Ross with us…

      Things are picking up!.

  5. Vancouver White

    There must be money to offer Ross a good deal now Snoddle’s has moved on. I’m convinced he will stay, and a couple of good signings, such as Peltier in defense and the likes of Boyd (Peterborough) or Templeton (Hearts) will be the ‘icing on the cake’. Also, have to mention the arrival of Andy O’Brien here in Vancouver. The Whitecaps have built a good team in contention for the MLS in only their second season, but lack a bit in the back four. The Whitecaps have a ton of quality in the midfield and attacking departments, and if any of you over there are speaking with Neil, then tell him to take a look at Koffie. He’s a 20 year old very classy midfielder who reminds me of Viera. Great passing, tackles hard, scores goals and defends. Watch out for him, he’s going to play in Europe one day.

  6. Tare

    Maybe in Friday we will be much wiser and we will read about cherries on top of Colcake;) tare

  7. lufc79

    Well it looks like Ross will stay after all and that is good news on its own with a new player in by friday and looks like Smith to follow that,will their be enough cash to spend on Boyd or any other player to fill the gap left by Shoddy,ooop’s Snoddy?

  8. Ricky

    heres my team for 1st game of season, although i think we need a RW and a creative CM

    peltier lees pearce drury
    ? austin norris/green/? varney
    Ross CMS

    • Matthew

      Brighton paid 2.5 million for CMS only last season. They won’t be selling at a loss thats for sure.

      Can you see us paying that for him? Honestly?

      Personally Il’d play as 4-2-3-1 with Ross a part of the 3, Becchio the lone striker, Varney and White in the Wing making Ross center of the form, Austin and Green in the 2, or Norris/Green.

  9. NottsWhite

    For me Ross is the answer to Snodgrass going. A 4-3-3 system with Ross, Bechio and Mackail-Smith behind a solid midfield. Ross on the right provides good passing/crossing ability with the ability to come inside and provide a goal threat. Still would look for a creative midfield player who can link up with what could be a lively attack

  10. mikelufc999

    Henry says”Mackail-Smith is fast, and works very hard at closing down defenders.
    He never gives up!!!
    An NW type of player and a fan’s favourite.”

    and how is his scoring rate compared to McCormack’s?
    and can Ross cope with the shite hoofball dished up by Eunuch?

  11. Max

    One of Mackall Smith and Beckford is a negotiating point on the other one to force down the price (and if Leicester don’t want Beckford they’ll take a hit on a payout just as we probably will on Paynter). Assuming McCormack stays, we will take one but not both and I think Warnock’s being wise talking up both the possibilities. I’m not sure which striker he really wants (which is a good thing). I wouldn’t be surprised if it were Beckford though.

  12. trueyorxman

    Koffie…Brazil…did you not get it? You must be nuts!! Brazil…nuts…get it?

  13. Ed

    Heard a rumour through a football agent some time ago saying Mackail Smith to Leeds for £3 million.

    Would be a big signing but £3 million is the amount I would spend on a striker coming from the premiership, not a Brighton striker struggling for goals

  14. lufc79

    Leeds United Paddy

    Peltier Lees Pearce Drury
    Austin Norris

    White McCormack Varney

    That is if it is Peltier who is coming in by the weekend.Fingers crossed.

  15. lufc79

    (trueyorxman)Went straight over my head mate,not with it today a little slow,Nice work.

  16. Bubionwhite

    4 – 1 – 4 – 1

    Kenny / Ashdown
    Peltier – Lees – Pearce – Drury
    White/Rogers – Green/Norris – McCormack – Varney (Diamond with RMcC in the hole)

    • Matthew

      What about 7 – 0 – 3 ?


      No Midfield


      I call it, hoof the ball past the midfield. A true hoofball game.

      Nah kidding.

      I like your formation Bubionwhite.

  17. Rusty

    Rogers will be sparkling this year. NW has done a tremendous job bringing in workmen as well as class. IWWT. Superb. Don’t care where we finish as long as the players are enjoying it. CMS is a good acquisition as Becchio been left to feel the heat on his own a lot of the time and also played injured, we might actually be able to rest him without worrying that Billy will be coming on… :) MOT

  18. TimPM

    Apologies if your comments take a while to turn up sometimes. The system was changed to be more mobile-friendly but we get quite a bit of spam now and while the system filters it out pretty well a few proper messages get caught every day.

    • Old Goat

      Nothing on official site as at 1300. It’s a lot of dosh for a Championship RB.
      In the new squad numbers, shirts 2, 6 and 9 are still unallocated which suggests we’re waiting to sign a RB, Striker and maybe another in midfield.

  19. Colin

    I’ve got concerns about Ross’ future at Leeds – I can’t see him being a regular starter in a Warnock team. It’s all good and well saying that he can work behind the striker or in the hole or in a 3 behind Becchio. BUT Warnock doesn’t play that way. McCormack is a good player in a passing team (a la McAllister & Grayson). But Warnock will play direct and a 5ft 9inch player just ain’t going to cut it. We already know that Becchio is a certain starter – that’s the type of player that Warnock likes, despite the fact that you could argue that pound for pound, Ross is the better player.
    If we get another (traditional) striker in, I’d expect Ross to be sold within a week.
    Ross is a luxury player and one that’s definitely nice to have, but not absolutely necessary to the team (like Becchio).
    If we get a new striker in, and someone bids £1m for Ross, then you can bet your bottom dollar that this bunch of bastards will bite their hand right off.

  20. Martin Lazialle

    Ross find his goal tally in Leeds, I don´t think a move from Elland Road could be what he need (or the team needs) About Peltier, I reed that St. Ledger had an ugly knee injury, maybe the Foxes kept Peltier…

  21. NottsWhite

    Paynter not impressing on trial at Blackpool – big suprise. Obviously Hollaway realises that you can’t polish a turd!!!


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