Leeds United: Midfielder search still going on

Bradley Johnson is sent off against Barnsley.
Bradley Johnson is sent off against Barnsley.
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Simon Grayson’s search for a midfielder was ongoing this morning with the Leeds United manager once again insisting that he would not allow his need for fresh blood to bring sub-standard players to Elland Road.

Grayson saw his attempts to pull of an emergency loan signing frustrated in the 48 hours after United’s 3-3 draw with Barnsley on Tuesday, but he refused to rule out the possibility of a new face appearing in tomorrow’s match at Swansea City.

Leeds lost Bradley Johnson to a red card on Tuesday night and the 23-year-old will serve a one-game ban during this weekend’s Championship game in Wales.

His suspension created a hole in Grayson’s midfield and forced United’s manager to consider a move in the transfer market or a change of formation prior to tomorrow’s 12.45pm kick-off.

Grayson cast his eye over Manchester City’s Michael Johnson during a reserve fixture between City and Bolton Wanderers on Wednesday evening but he revealed that a number of approaches for unnamed players had so far come to nothing.

“We’ve made a few enquiries and, as we stand, nothing’s come off,” Grayson said. “It’s simply because clubs want to keep their best players.

“I could sign an average player and make us no better but I’ve got players in the squad who are ready and desperate to step into the team, whatever system I play. Any signing needs to be a really good player and I’m prepared to wait for one to become available.”

Right-back Paul Connolly is Grayson’s major injury concern with a hamstring strain but United’s boss said the club were still to receive any contact from Manchester City over the possible recall of goalkeeper David Gonzalez.

City manager Robert Mancini indicated earlier this week that he would end Gonzalez’s loan at Elland Road in response to a shoulder injury suffered by Shay Given, but Grayson said: “He’s been training with us and Manchester City haven’t been on the phone.”

Fringe striker Mike Grella, meanwhile, has joined Swindon Town until the end of the season.

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