As Leeds United fans continued to decide whether they thought Michael Brown was a good signing or not last night, rumours of two players currently on trial with the club started to circulate.

The first rumour involves former Derby County and West Brom midfielder Giles Barnes and came from former Nottingham Forest player-turned football agent David Johnson via his twitter account.

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Leeds United fans sought clarification following this tweet due to the question mark at the end. When asked how he knew Barnes was at Leeds, Johnson replied with this;

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It had earlier been claimed that Barnes was on trial with Nottingham Forest, a club Johnson still has close ties with. It seems Forest decided against signing the 22-year old and he is now trying to earn a contract with the Whites.

As a youngster Barnes was considered to be a star of the future but a combination of bad luck and injuries caused him to be released after almost 100 games by Derby County. He went on to spend two seasons at West Brom, but once again he was blighted by injuries and managed just 27 appearances.

There is little doubt that fully fit, the former England U18 International is a highly capable footballer who would be an asset to any Championship club. However, if he is on trial with Leeds United at the moment you have to wonder why Nottingham Forest decided not to offer him a contract?

The second rumour involves Alexei Emerenko but spent most of yesterday being confirmed, then withdrawn, then confirmed again. It seems the Russian midfielder is currently in Scotland where he has been trying out for a contract at Celtic. The Scottish club’s fans seem to think he’ll be pulling a green and white striped shirt on this Saturday and appearing for them in a pre-season friendly.

However, rumour has it that the Russian may also have tried out for Leeds United and that he may be appearing for us against Motherwell this Saturday too. So which (if any) of these rumours is actually the truth?

It’s possible the Russian may have tried out for both clubs and is simply weighing up his options. Out of contract players will want to keep as many doors as possible open to maximise their chances of finding a new team before the season begins and with Leeds United currently training nearby, it’s not unthinkable that an approach was made to try out.

The interest from Celtic is not unexpected. Eremenko spent last season on-loan to Kilmarnock where he made 31 appearances scoring four goals. By the end of the season the midfielder had firmly established himself in Scotland and was amongst the nominees for the Scottish Players, Player of the Year Award. His success was followed by rumours linking him with a move to one of the Old Firm sides.

Emerenko’s previous clubs won’t fill Leeds United fans with much confidence (FC Jokerit and Metalist Kharkiv anyone?) but he does have significant experience at international level with 52 caps and 13 goals for Finland.

12 Responses

  1. Finnish_White

    Eremenko is Finnish and was at Pietarsaari yesterday. And didn’t mention Leeds when speaking of interested teams. He mentioned Brighton and Cardiff though.

  2. Tare

    Sorry to correct you, but he is Finnish by nationality. Alexei was born in Moscow but moved to Finland with his family in early infant. His Father was in USSR national team squad and one hell of a playmaker. His two brothers are born footballers, Roman plays for Dynamo Kiev and youngest brother are expected to be the best of them if everythings go right.

    But Alexei is the Footballer as a Jari Litmanen mould, so let us hope this rumour is true.

    Tare from Finland

  3. Insider

    I can confirm that the Eremenko rumour is nonsense and he has not trained with us and we are not looking to sign him. Barnes is meant to link up for the tour of Scotland to prove his fitness, his agent contacted Leeds and Grayson will have a look at him, nothing more at this early stage.

    • number1inyorkshire

      show yourself insider ,who are ,lets be having you !!???

  4. Dje

    Truth or no truth in these trialists being with us, I still believe we have other established targets in mind.

    These guys might turn out as hidden gems, and therefore a bonus, just as we might turn out to be a hidden gem of a club for them; the benefits are mutual and there’s nothing to lose beyond a bruised ego and lowered self-esteem.

  5. Gryff

    It’s great to have this inside info but I hope it doesn’t hurt our chances of completing signings we want (obviously if an agent tweets it it’s out there anyway so no fault of TSS & others for reporting it).

    I’m surprised that we seem to be looking at two wingers/attacking players when Nunez could step into that role. Still think we need a full-back, a centre-mid, and a keeper (then as luxury maybe yet another full-back or centre-mid).

    Barnes is definitely good enough for Forest but I guess the wages for a constantly injured lad went against him? Not sure what I’d think if he was signed…

  6. Will23

    Once the transfer window is closed I suggest a new poll..

    “Which of his new signings will Grayson ostracise first, never to be seen near the first team, or even the bench, after the first 10 games?”

    Signing for Leeds needs to come with a health warning!

  7. Chrome dome

    It would be pointless signing barnes. I doubt he will sign considering weve already got snodgrass, gradel and nunez who are all probably better anyways. To add to the rachubka and brown signings, my picks would be stockdale, lichaj and montgomery. Then, with kisnorbo and mccormack being like new signings aswell, i reckon wed have a much strengthened side ready to mount a real promotion push :)

  8. steve underwood

    Hve to agree with chrome dome we dont need whole sale players in just a few select ones, another keeper,midfield,defender then for me thats alot better than last year,with parker kisnorbo white turner twins i think we look strong

  9. Matt BB

    I think we need to see how effective the likes of Thompson and the Turner twins are before we consider them as cover, likewise Lees. Remember just how hard a division this is going to be Birmingham and West Ham were not like the dreadful Middlesbro team that got relegated, they fought right to the last game and are filled with quality players.

    So our task is twofold, compete with these teams – and show our own squad that we are worth staying with if they have ambition to play in the premier league, because both of them will be sniffing around Gradel, Somma, Becchio Snodgrass and Howson.

    I think to that end we do need to not go round the bragain bin, we also need to make a real statement of intent with at least one or two of our signings. Rachubka and Brown are solid dependable players, but signing Alan Smith would show we mean business, I also want to see us taking a good player from a rival, someone like Cohen from Notts Forest for instance, lets be honest he lived the dream most of us wanted to last season, he took out McCartney, and irritated Billy Davies.

  10. trueyorxman

    AO’B out of Scottish tour with a back problem. Becchio op on Fri, out for upto 8 weeks.


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