Trumped by Ipswich Town to the signing of quality reinforcements and an uninspiring mini-raid on the MLS can mean only one thing – It’s time for more Leeds United transfer rumours.

Sean St Ledger

We start with Leicester City’s Sean St Ledger, allegedly a Leeds United target on account of him being a central defender whose well-publicised availability means the dots were quickly connected by some kid with an orange crayon.

Whilst there may be some truth in this rumour, it’s always difficult to believe Leeds United have entered a bidding war for any one – least not a player belonging to Leicester City, a club in no desperate need of cash who can’t be bent over a barrel by our tight-fisted leader.

The Foxes have even less reason to accept one of Leeds’ trademark derisory offers after our old friends Ipswich Town came to an agreement with Leicester. Considering our success at going head-to-head with Ipswich (Keith Andrews, Lee Bowyer), the fact Leicester City expect to receive money for the player and the lack of creativity put into this rumour, I conclude that we probably are interested but would have more chance signing Thierry Henry.

Chris Birchall

Speaking of has-been MLS stars, Chris Birchall is another name being thrown around at the moment.

Unlike St Ledger, Birchall meets all the criteria The Scratching Shed looks for in a highly-feasible Leeds United transfer rumour. Low wages, free and remarkably average. He also plays central midfield, which is an added bonus considering our lack of cover there at present.

Alan Smith

It wouldn’t be a Leeds United transfer window without the standard Alan Smith rumour. We’ve considered adding a counter to the right-hand sidebar for the amount of times he’s linked with a return, but unfortunately, we lack the necessary man power to make such dreams a reality.

Yes, he’s a central midfielder (nowadays), yes he’s looking for some first team football and yes, Simon Grayson probably is interested. The problem is, so too are Ipswich (allegedly) and since Alan Smith already turned us down once because he couldn’t cope with a few grand less per week, he’ll no doubt do so again when Ken Bates offers to sweeten the deal with a £3.50 goal bonus.

Reaching an agreement with Newcastle United over wage percentage will always be a stumbling block here, and even if we can overcome that, the amount of money invested would be better spent on a permanent addition – one whose legs haven’t gone and whose major skill isn’t collecting yellows. We have Michael Brown for that.

Kris Boyd

Another incredibly average footballer to add to the ever-growing list of depressingly predictable Leeds United transfer rumours is Kris Boyd.

The former Rangers and Middlesbrough striker managed to find an even lower class of football by wondering off to Turkey sometime last year but is now a free agent mulling over a contract offer from MLS side, Houston DynamoI swear, there’s a common theme here somewhere… 

According to the Daily Star, whose lack of credibility is the only reassuring thing about this rumour, Boyd is considering offers from several Championship clubs, as well as teams in Qatar, China and the MLS.

Mark Marshall 

Finally, Leeds are rumoured to be keeping tabs on Barnet winger Mark Marshall. According to London24, Marshall is also attracting interest from West Ham and Portsmouth.

Seems incredibly unlikely that Leeds would be successful in agreeing terms with Barnet after Charlton Athletic and Bournemouth had bids rejected in the summer.

However, despite Barnet’s determination to keep hold of the 24-year-old, Marshall is making enough thinly-veiled “get me out here” noises to suggest his days are number – The speculation is great, I’m just concentrating on my football, we’ll see what happens… etc… 

Marshall will undoubtedly have a new home by the end of January, but the chances of it being Elland Road are slim. Following the arrival of Robbie Rogers, Leeds will be looking to strengthen in other areas and are unlikely to join a three-way bidding war for an unproven lower league player.