The season has ended and Neil Warnock has finally been able to deal with Leeds’ uninspiring squad. The gaffer has held extensive talks with the Club’s board and has hammered out today’s “retained list”. 8 players have been released (including 3 we knew about – O’Dea, Parker, Vayrynen), and 6 have been told to find a new club.

 

The players released are United’s unused backup keeper Maik Taylor who is moving to Millwall after impressing there on loan, Danny Webber who scored against Leicester to end his two-year goal drought (he’ll sign for Hull and it’ll be like buses, mark my words!), Mikael Forssell, Lloyd Sam, and Alex Bruce.

Players who will be actively hawked to other clubs are Paul Rachubka, Billy Paynter, Paul Connolly, Andy O’Brien, Ramon Nunez and Adam Clayton.

Meanwhile, Leeds have offered new contracts to Aidy White, Ross McCormack, Tom Lees and Zac Thompson while Snodgrass’ offer still stands. Michael Brown has also been offered a new ‘reduced’ one-year deal.

Presuming the transfer listed leave and all others stay, Leeds’ squad pre-signings put into an artificial tick-box looks like this:

 

Keeper:

Andy Lonergan

Defence:

Tom Lees, Leigh Bromby, Patrick Kisnorbo, Charlie Taylor

Midfield:

Danny Paugh, Zac Thompson, Robbie Rogers, Robert Snodgrass

Forwards:

Ross McCormack, Luciano Becchio, Davide Somma

 

The real surprise is Adam Clayton. Earlier today the Club’s Chairman revealed that one player had asked for a £15,000 p/w wage which he says would equate to four home match attendences. Clayton’s agent claimed to YEP’s Phil Hay that there were two rounds of contract talks with Warnock, but the two sides weren’t close enough for a formal contract offer.

We should remember, though, that there’s no guarantee that Clayton’s asked for £15,000 p/w. It could be any player in negotiations. One thing is for sure, putting a lad with potential up for sale like Clayton is a marker for the club’s ambitions. In the ideal world Neil Warnock might have preffered to have kept him, but the important thing now is that if Clayton doesn’t lower his demands the club have to replace him properly.

Fans have always been quick to justify the decision to sell the likes of Bradley Johnson, Neil Kilkenny, Kasper Schmeichel, or Jonny Howson. And to hear how some of us talked about Jermaine Beckford you’d think he was a Michael Ricketts mk II. We all know afterwards how important they were to the squad. It’s arguable whether we replaced any of those lads with similar quality so we should be sure of our pulling power before too eagerly damning Clayton and his greedy agent. Personally, though, if it is Clayton who asked for £15,000 p/w I’m not sure he’s being that realistic.

Transfer listing players doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll leave. Warnock warned:

If we don’t get the offers in we think are acceptable they’ll come back pre-season and fight for their place.

 

Replacements

Who will Leeds bring in? The unholy trinity of Jonathan Woodgate, Lee Bowyer, and Callum Myth have been linked with us by a few as usual.

Jonathan Woodgate fell short of his clause for a contract extension at Stoke, Lee Bowyer has been released as Ipswich look to younger options, while Callum Myth seems to of resigned himself to a coaching role with Newcastle’s academy after being overlooked for a place in their Premier League squad for the same reason as Bowyer.

It’s almost nailed on that Portsmouth’s player of the year Jason Pearce will be Leeds’ first Summer signing for a six-figure sum. We have supposedly beaten Norwich to the lad’s signature… Are we still Norwich City’s feeder club?

Meanwhile links with El-Hadji ‘The Camel’ Diouf are still strong. When asked on TalkSport if he would be signing the wayward winger, Neil Warnock claimed the line was breaking up and hung up – the last time he did this was on speculation linking the manager to Leeds.

Asked about the links, Diouf said:

‘I know people have talked about the incident between me and Neil Warnock but it is in the past and is not an issue. I have the utmost respect for Neil Warnock and I’d be delighted to help Leeds gain promotion to the Premier League.’

And insisted his bust-up with Becchio would not hurt squad harmony:

Becchio is a good, intelligent player. I’m sure he and I could link up well at Leeds. It would be ideal for me.

I reckon that one’s nailed on, too…

Meanwhile Jason Beckford is still being linked with a Leeds return. The striker was fantastic for us in League One, and enjoyed his Elland Road homecoming, blowing kisses, saluting, signing autographs and hugging every Leeds player he could find. It’d take a massive pay-cut for Beckford to be a realistic target, surely?

Meanwhile, the Club has decided on the back of the U18s fantastic run this season that seven youngsters deserve a professional contract. Congratulations to Nathan and Lewis Turner who have been awarded contract extensions, and to Sam Byram, Ross Killock, Simon Lenighan, Charlie Clamp and Dominic Poleon who have all turned pro.

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