Since Ross McCormack exited the club, all focus has been on potential new recruits these last few weeks but as seems to be becoming a trend of Leeds United transfer windows, Sam Byram is once again the centre of speculation regarding his future.

Southampton are said to have had a £4.5m bid rejected yesterday but however unwilling the club may be to part with the supremely talented youngster, I doubt it’d take much of an increase on that figure to start tempting Massimo Cellino, especially if Byram wants to leave and try his hand at Premier League football.

After a début season which saw Byram rapidly emerge as a first team regular and clean-up at the end of season awards, injuries blighted his 2013/14 campaign limiting him’ to 27 appearances, around half of what he made the previous campaign and bringing his total to 80 in just two seasons.

With so much experience already under his belt and still only 20 years of age, Byram has a long and bright future ahead of him. He’s also contracted until 2016 which means Leeds United will have plenty of chances to cash in on their star property further down the line and it’d be nice to think Massimo Cellino recognises his quality and can resist the temptation.

Elsewhere, Fulham are feeling short-changed and moaning about the fitness Ross McCormack arrived at the club in, as if that’s somehow Leeds United’s fault.

“Ross came to us with a lack of fitness and not at the beginning of pre-season” Fulham’s German boss Felix McGath moaned, clearly pointing the finger of blame towards Elland Road instead of taking time to investigate why this was the case.

To recap, Ross McCormack failed to turn up for Leeds United’s pre-season training in Italy as he tried to force through an exit for the second time in six months. Had he acted like a professional and been where he was supposed to be while still under contract with Leeds United, I doubt he’d be in this condition now.

While I – and most Leeds United fans I’m sure – hold no ill-will towards McCormack who was a great player for the club and almost single-handedly saved us from relegation last season, he and Massimo Cellino clearly didn’t see eye-to-eye and this seemed to be his way of forcing the issue for a transfer. While I’m sure Fulham fans will argue that the ends justified the means, his actions came at a cost to his own fitness. And that’s on him, not Leeds United.

  • henrymouni

    The list of people who do not see eye to eye with Massimo is a long one TSS.
    It’s getting longer all the time.

    • TSS

      Indeed, but I’m not sure that excuses McCormack’s lack of professionalism in this instance. He was a Leeds United player at the time, paid huge sums of cash by the club. Had this deal not gone through and he remained a Leeds United player, we’d be the suffering because he didn’t turn up to pre-season training. If a player wants to move on, that’s fine, but you have to be the bigger man in such a situation and maintain professionalism.

      • henrymouni

        I agree that it seems he tried to force a move, and succeeded, but one suspects it may have suited Cellino.
        He adopts the Bates plan of accusing players who leave of being greedy and disloyal.
        I wonder if his dealing with Cellino & The Hock, may have made his mind up for him.
        His contention, like others before him, that we are going no-where but down, may well be correct??

    • mrbigwheels

      If we get to October and the status quo is maintained there will be 30,000+ on that list Henry. Till roll proportions…

      Byram had the look on saturday, also against Dundee and we await a further bid from Sunderland, I suppose.

      • henrymouni

        Yes!
        He makes Ken Bates seem like Mahatma Gandhi!
        He will buy ER, which will only increase in value Mr B.
        Players are a gamble!
        I wonder how long it will take him to buy it??
        He said “I have made an offer”.
        One would expect it to be lower than the expected price, knowing Mr Cellino.
        Expect a long haggle up until deadline day!

  • Jimmy

    McCormack is a professional footballer, his future depends on him being physically fit and capable of doing a 90+ minute shift. Just because he chose not to go to preseason training does not excuse him from this basic premise, he should have made private arrangements to prepare himself for the new season.

    This is were believing your own PR and value becomes a problem. He was clearly being unprofessional and more fool Fulham for paying £11M for an unfit player!

    However, Ross will get fit again and unless MC bolsters our defence, midfield and strike force he will punish Leeds, especially at home!,

  • Bluesman

    Ross was totally unprofessional by the sounds of it. Let himself go over the summer and would not have brought any fitness to Leeds either! £11 million for a fat out of condition, unhappy, demotivated player? Think that Fulham need to look at themselves first!

  • Roger Womack

    Didnt he have a medical before signing? Only themselves to blame for not checking it. Too late to blame Leeds after 1st match. Sour grapes.

  • Counte Of Monte Fisto

    To be honest I don’t really care about the RM transfer they paid £11m we banked it end of.
    What bothers me is that armed with £15m to spend in players (From MC’s own mouth). Plus with the £11m less Cardiffs cut tucked away to buy ER back we then spent erm £150k ish on a Peterborough reserve and failed to bring in Sorenson becuase he wanted too much money.
    Thats where the focus needs to be, RM has gone & I for one hope Norwich and Fulham stay down but lets not forget MC’s broken promises because whilst Fulham may not go up we currently look certain to go down.
    MC get the wallet out PROVEN players only from this point onwards, spend the £15m you promised or many like myself will very quickly lose faith in you. So far I have been 100% supportivelast week dropped that a lot

  • Also annoyed that instead of ‘buy back ER first job’ he’s now saying R McC fee will allow to buy it back.

    • henrymouni

      Exactly Roger!!
      He wanted Ross out for the money & to get rid of his ‘big’ wages!
      If he ‘is forced into selling’ Sam, he will have all the money he needs.
      The £15m transfer pot is an illusion.
      Our wage bill has been slashed, and new players brought in on the cheap.
      So that £15m should be used purely for transfer fees- it won’t be used much at all, it seems.

      • Dr Zen

        The 15 mill is probably completely imaginary, sadly.

        And if we sell Sam, that money will likely disappear too.

        And you know, if we were being cynical about it, we wouldn’t believe any talk about buying ER until it’s actually bought, and as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a big difference between ER becoming an asset of the club and ER becoming an asset of Massimo Cellino.

        I do hope to be completely wrong about all this. I hope that the Viviani/Sorensen screwups really were the fault of the other side, that the talk of Brazilian wonderkids and Argie giant defenders is legit, and that we do end up with some quality. But hope is cheap.

        • mrbigwheels

          £15m… another illusion.

          It is actually £15m player budget. A figure for the season covering team wages, fees, add ons, coaching costs and possibly player capital investment.

          TSS will explain further… I’m sure.

          • henrymouni

            It was a transfer budget Mr B – a war chest – a fighting fund – an amount of money to be spent on players. fees & wages.
            Up to now we have just spent wages but:-
            We have slashed our squad – 16 gone so far -and we need to bring another 5 in to bring us back to par.
            So in reality our wages will be a lot less than before.

          • mrbigwheels

            This is all looking and sounding very Bateseque Henry.
            Perhaps the illusion you mentioned earlier.

            I need another pill or a sherry, (looks at clock).
            Either I’m confused or need to refresh my accountancy skills.
            New Capital into a business is one thing and that’s how the fans see it….. ”the war chest’. I do not.

            Annual player costs to the business = the running costs of the remaining team + new team member running costs less any previous running costs of team members departed . com……. Simples.

            Capital costs are quite simply Player Purchase Costs less Player Sales Revenue = plus / minus £ position.

            So what £’S are we actually putting into NEW PLAYERS as an increase in budget?????.
            Fans seem to think £15m is the Magicians figure.

            What is the equation to arrive at £15m….??????.

          • markman

            dont think you are correct.

            some have arrived with a loan fee being paid

          • henrymouni

            I said ‘fees and wages’.
            We have shed so many players that the team picks itself, just about.
            We have brought in a reserve goalkeeper, a good prospect in midfield – we hope, and an extra fullback who may be OK.
            A forward who looked strong and fast in pre-season, but was anonymous at Millwall.
            We have also brought in the Manchester lad, who reminds me of Dom Poleon.
            I can’t see too many significant fees there.
            My worry is that we have not brought players in where we need them most.
            My concern also was both The Hock & Mr C saying we had plenty of good players in the old squad.
            This made me think we would have to ‘make do and mend’.
            We are now bracketed with Blackpool, as disaster clubs, by TV, Radio & the papers.
            Oh and the bookies!!! Not usually too far off the money!
            The Hock promised us the ‘fittest & most hardworking team in the league’. No way, hose pipe!
            Looking at our best team, we need at least 5 more quality players to avoid another season of despair.
            We have been patient for 11 years!
            In short, Cellino was slashed the wage bill by removing staff and players, he is using Ross’s money to buy the ground which is all good for him.
            There will be more going (and the sooner the better for some).
            He has spent little on the few players he has brought in, and many are a gamble that may not pay off.
            We have a worse squad than last year, so it is difficult to be hopeful just now.
            Cellino saved the club, like Bates before him , but saved us for what???

          • markman

            Dont think you can compare MC to Bates
            MC has money and will spend/invest in due course.
            dont think we have a worse quad than last year,the new boys have all represented their countries at under 18 or 21 level.
            i agree they are a gamble but cream normally rises and youth will be given a chance.

            we have an owner,who as yet is not an expert on the championship but he has money and if mistakes are made,as i am sure there will be, he has the cash to roll the dice again

          • henrymouni

            Bates had money but he was reluctant to spend it.
            He did not seem to want promotion?
            When Massimo appointed The Hock, I wondered if he was bothered about promotion either.
            It was as if he was trying to create an unsettling atmosphere and he succeeded.
            We need players in now if we are to avoid a real struggle.
            Millwall are not a good team and will probably be struggling too.
            I envy your faith in Massimo, and I pray you are right!

          • TSS

            If £15m includes wages and fees we’re operating on the lowest budget in the Championship by some distance.

      • mrbigwheels

        ”An illusion”…. is that the same as ‘smoke and mirrors’?, Henry.

        Are you suggesting we have a Magician in our Circus?.

      • markman

        I dont think anyone would turn down £11 mil for Ross
        MC has only had his feet under the desk for a couple of months and saved the club from another administration and an almost certain deduction of 15 points and welcome to league 1 next season.

        I am not aware of incoming players salaries are public knowledge,how are things being done on the cheap? sorenson was reported to be coming for a basic of £12,000 a week,when did we last pay a defender that amount,deal feet thru due to a squabble with his agent.

        wage bill has been slashed as numbers have been cut and deservedly do.

        Time and patience are needed,

  • Also a worryingly high number of deals fall through, players failing to agree terms.

    • mrbigwheels

      That’s because Cellino has a wage cap in his head of £10K/annum for a striker, the rest are pro rata, and performance related incentives on top.

      His head, unfortunately is plugged into League One and Little Italy instead of Championship requirements and maybe, (his head), is actually no higher than his waist… at the moment and cannot see daylight.

      • Yes, lets see what he does in the January transfer window with the next manager when he realises his plans aren’t realistic.

        • mrbigwheels

          Ha.. I’m pretty sure Massimo is going to need a September transfer window and may be the new coach as well.

      • Jimmy

        Yes mbw, l think your right, MCs head must be somewhere else normally by now he’s telling someone to stfu or your sacked after a disappointment like Millwall.
        lnfact the silence from El Duchi at present is deafening. Maybe he’s in his counting house adding up how much he’s made and not spent yet!

        Hate to think it, but if no serious import of players by September, a few home games should be embargoed, only weapon we’ve got.

    • ricky thomas

      prem clubs don’t always get there man.

  • Nathan Lamb

    No the worst thing is that he sold calgilia for about 80m + MC fee of 14m and if Byram goes we may be looking at about 110 m pounds but I garentee we won’t see that money at all.

    • Nathan Lamb

      Also I forgot about the 1m the police gave us.

      • mrbigwheels

        You can do my profit and loss… any day.

        • Nathan Lamb

          Yeah I know you can but what point I’m trying to make is that we haven’t seen any of the money being spent he wants us in the premier league he needs to understand that you have to spend money in england to get you to the premier league. Buying players which are failers in the premier league.

          • Johnson

            You have to spend money to get promoted? Uhmmmmmmmm, Burnley?

          • henrymouni

            You have to spend money wisely, and Burnley did.
            They played as a team and gave 100%.
            They have a good tough manager.
            However, their chances of survival in the Prem’, without spending plenty is slim.
            There is no substitute for quality.

          • ricky thomas

            Not spent money?. he has payed out millions already to stave off going under..

          • henrymouni

            The money he spent was deducted from the purchase price of the club.
            He has recently reduced the money he owes to GFH again.
            When you buy a business this is all covered, and anything found later, that was undeclared is knocked off as well.
            The only problem he had to tackle was future debts, and he seems to have done that.
            Any moneys he laid out he has got back.
            Don’t worry about Massimo!!!

    • Tom

      Why would he use the 80m he made from Cagliari sale? That’s completely his money and made no promises to sink 100m into Leeds straight off the bat….. That would be even more criminal than not buying anyone!!

    • markman

      He got about 30 m euros for cagliari

  • igiveup

    Let the kid go as no doubt he will have loads of ambition, a word not heard at ER in a decade now! Why hold him back, he deserves to play higher & his talents alone will not help drag this very poor squad through another long season

  • Tom

    You guys moaning about cellino don’t have an effin clue. For once we have a football mad businessman in charge, rather than money mad con man like we have had for the last 10 years. There is no point building up a massive wage bill the club cant pay. He would have bought Elland road by now if the con men at GFH hadn’t falsified the accounts and loaded the club with debt. The club was in a real mess, hemorrhaging money and he had to take drastic action to save us, which he did. He’s now signing real talented footballers, young with lots of potential. He’s building for the future. A man with a plan. For the first time in over a decade our club is in safe hands. When we can afford luxuries, he will buy them for us

    • henrymouni

      Is this a wind up Tom?

      “When we can afford luxuries, he will buy them for us”

      I could do with a new car Tom!

      • TSS

        Ooo… If we’re splashing out on luxuries, how about some staff to answer the ticket office phones? Just imagine it, people would be given the illusion that we operate like a real football club. Oh, to live the dream.

        • henrymouni

          And 4 ball boys would be handy.

    • mrbigwheels

      How positive and most of it very true but…..

      He’s the man who has promised the fans a few things and then nothing happens, told us two players have signed when they haven’t, sacked Academy staff that were supposedly coaching our ‘future’ very well, been slightly wishywashy with his player budget statement and he’s the man who has employed a coach with no experience of coaching in any league never mind the Championship.

      It could be that he’s a man way above our level and I sincerely hope he has a ‘superstar plan for the team but at the moment, (and yes I’m happy to give him 10 days to sort it), there is far too much bullshit flying from his hip, which many find amusing, but his sincerity and commitment within his perception of the team and dealings to date to what happens on the pitch is not flickering that high on my meter.

      He will run the tightest ship as a business in the Championship… fantastic. That will not project Leeds to higher ground but will no doubt make the Cellino family a great deal of money though

    • TSS

      “For once we have a football mad businessman in charge”

      Well he’s definitely mad, I’ll give you that.

      Funniest thing about people blindly worshiping Cellino is they make exactly the same arguments the pro-Bates people did. It’s surreal, it’s like they’ve been cut, paste and the names switched around. I have nothing against the guy per se, but the hero worshiping of owners is nauseating and I’d rather he be taken to task when he fails to deliver and/or when the team aren’t delivering like a football club owner should be.

      • RContini

        I was totally against every previous owner we have had and made the demands you are talking about, but I am very much in the Cellino camp because I know him well from many years of watching him in Italy so I already know that a) he’s clearly a football man who’s main focus in life is to build a successful football team and b) he is not in it for the money. He sells corn for money and has a football team for pleasure, he has not ever and will not ever attempt to make personal profit from it. Cagliari are a small town team with few fans which his day to day nouse and drive kept at the top table for most of his tenure, where they have no right to be, think about it, this is a league with names like Juve, Milan, Inter, Roma, Napoli, Fiorentina, Lazio, Parma, i could go on, from big cities, with vast fan bases, does anyone seriously think he should have been challenging for silverware??? Now he has a team with real potential and I think he will show us given time that he is in it to win.

        • henrymouni

          Thank you for your uplifting mail.
          We all hope & pray that he can be the man to give us a decent team.
          So far, we are struggling but I do not see Mr C letting that go on for too long.
          Our 2 best players and assets were McCormack & Byram.
          One has been sold and the other may be leaving soon.
          We were all hoping for some inspiring signings to give us a chance this year.
          We have been let down, and lied to so many times that we are wary, of another new owner.
          Time will tell.
          A couple of wins and the World is a much better place.

          Grazie amico mio!

          • RContini

            No worries, but don’t panic if we dont win games early on, this is clearly a long term strategy and these young players will take time to bed in, plus Cellino is likely to keep scouting right up until the last moment as he will have heard by now that things get a little crazy in England on deadline day and he will smell blood.

            Hockaday is about simply having a coach who will do as he is told while MC gets to grips with English football. When the time is right he will appoint someone more appropriate, but still dont expect someone you’ve heard of unless they are willing to work as an Italian style head coach. I wouldnt dismiss that style of working to easily either. Italian coaches are some of the best in the world, maybe because they get to spend more time coaching than under piles of paperwork?? didn’t do Ancelloti any harm for example as he went on to win leagues in 3 other countries at the first attempt and topped it with his 3rd champions league.

  • mrbigwheels

    Roscoe was always on his way. (looked so bloated in the face yesterday), oh dear.
    Byrams replacement is already here and if he goes, Soton should perhaps benefit.

    But I’ve a question to y’all….. What sort of weekly would you want to pay a NEW STRIKER supposedly replacing Roscoe?. Come on… what’s the benchmark.

    I already know of one… yeah we all talk about, freely available… been offered £9k.

    Being thought about as Roscoes replacement. I’d say £15k is the min to fill the spot… Oh and Hunt is being loaned to Udders so that will help. (I had a good dream).

    • Matthew

      I would go for any Striker with a consistent record of scoring at this level to replace Ross. Something like a 15(At the very min) a season striker. Probably anywhere between 10-20k p/w is realistic.

  • Matthew

    If he goes to Southampton, all the best to the lad. He deserves Premier League football and Southampton have a good stadium and training facilities. He’ll easily grow as a player there. I don’t want him to leave personally but if he did leave, that’s not a bad club to go too, it’d easily be a step up in his career. However the money from any potential sale needs to be reinvested.

  • PMH

    Hanging on to our good players is always going to be a challenge if we are looking like a weaker Championship side. Quality players will hang in there IF the team looks like it is on the rise. Translation: Sam Byram will want out, and so would you if you were him. You wouldn’t want to wait and see if Massimo is crazy good, or just crazy (as us wiser fans suspect.) Leeds have a few weeks to give a clear indication of whether they are truly building for the future, or just hanging on and hoping for a miracle from a weak team led by an inexperienced coach. Selling Byram will tell us what we need to know — Asta la vista

    • mrbigwheels

      So Matthew it looks like the Club have put £10m on Byram.. Here we go again. Cellino has fallen into the honey pot. Doubt he’s got the winning lottery numbers though. Someone will pay that fee pretty soon, I’m sure.

      • Matthew

        Absolutely no chance someone will pay 10m for him. Realistically probably 3-6 million with maybe some addons and a sell on clause. If Cellino doesn’t budge on the price(And I hope he doesn’t as I don’t want him to go). He should be here for another season.