Had an unexpected break from work last week, so I did the most sensible thing I could think of and jumped on a flight to Spain. Strange to be in a country where the locals still care about the World Cup come the latter stages.

Home-town boy comes... home!

Meanwhile, back in Leeds, it’s all been going on. Two new signings in the form of Neill Collins and Lloyd Sam have arrived at Elland Road making it six so far for Simon Grayson, and if the rumours are to be believed, Larry isn’t done yet.

The name on everyone’s lips is still Gary Hooper. The Scunthorpe youngster has never hid his desire to ply his trade at a bigger club, and Leeds United have long been seen as perfect suitors. The latest rumour claims that Leeds are close to sealing a deal for the young striker, with a price tag of £3,000,000 and a 20% sell-on clause as a nice little cherry on the top for Scunny.

Notwithstanding the obvious fact that Ken Bates’ Leeds United Plc. Fund 2.0 has never spent such an amount on any one player (or all of them combined), and would appear unlikely to change that policy with Larry hinting at limited funds, £3m is a hell of a lot of money for a Championship player – even if he is being chased by numerous clubs with undeniably bigger budgets.

Moreover, the lack of media sources citing this rumour also seems unusual. The only place I’ve come across it is SportingPreview, which lists it as one of several rumours and pays it no real significance. With all things considered, I think it’s fair to conclude that the suggested price is nonsense. That’s not to say Hooper won’t be joining us, but if he does, I’d expect a fee closer to the £1m mark with a page of add on clauses so long, you could roll it from Scunthorpe to Leeds to guide Hoops on his way.

Another almost laughable rumour comes from Betfair, claiming that Chelski striker Scott Sinclair could be closing in on a move to Elland Road. On the TSS BS scale, this particular rumour has broken the dial. Anyone who thinks Chelsea would do business with Bates, must have been living in a cave for the past decade! £1m does seem a reasonable sum for an undeniably talented youngster, but it’s £1m Chelski simply don’t need. Roman is more likely to leave the kid to fade away in Chelsea’s reserve team than allow him to move to a club led by Ken Bates – this is the kind of guy who thinks £1m buys you a cheap car for your personal masseuse to drive around in.

So, it’s so far.. so.. erm… adequate?

Hardly the most inspiring signings thus far, but all more than capable of doing a job. As it stands however, that job seems closer to bottom-half consolidation that it does mid-table/play-off push. Don’t get me wrong, Larry has done well with hardly any money spent. Lloyd Sam, Kasper Schmeichel and Billy Paynter are good signings that I’d have jumped at myself in such a position, but the defence still looks like it’s made of play-dough (on paper) and we’re still no closer to replacing Beckford. Still time though…

Useless trivia: New Leeds-born signing, Lloyd Sam has his own website which should give us an interesting insight into the goings on around Thorp Arch next season. Nosey in on his personal life here.