Leeds United: New takeover set for green light

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Brian McDermott has given Leeds United a list of four transfer targets with the group behind a takeover of the club expecting to secure Football League approval within days of the January window opening.

Sources close to the impending buy-out of Leeds told the YEP last night that the governing body is likely to ratify the purchase of a 75 per cent stake in United once it reaches the end of the Christmas holiday period.

The development came as McDermott voiced concern about the depth of his squad and highlighted the importance of new signings next month after Leeds lost 2-1 to Nottingham Forest yesterday.

A tired display at the City Ground, where a stunning goal from Matt Derbyshire on 83 minutes knocked Leeds out of the Championship’s play-off zone, led McDermott to claim that his side would struggle to compete for a top-six finish without the arrival of players in January.

His ability to sign them depends heavily on the completion of a takeover which is being fronted by United managing director David Haigh and backed by Andrew Flowers, a senior figure at Leeds’ shirt sponsor Enterprise Insurance.

The consortium are on the verge of purchasing a majority shareholding from the club’s current owner, GFH Capital, having struck an agreement with the Dubai-based firm on November 30.

United initially indicated that the sale would go through before the end of 2013 but the legalities and formalities of the change of ownership at Elland Road – among them the need for the Football League to approve the deal – appear to be close to completion.

The January window opens in 48 hours’ time, however, and McDermott’s side will reach it in seventh position in the table after two draws and a defeat from their last three games.

McDermott said: “I’ve spoken to the owners and I’ve given them four names who I think would be good additions next month. We now have to try and do a deal with their club. Can we do a deal, do we have the money? We’ll see what happens.

“But it’s pretty evident where we are as a club, a team and a squad. We definitely need to add to what we’ve got. But I’m sure the owners see that. There’s no reluctance on their part. They want to do the best they can for Leeds United, that’s definitely the feeling I get.”

Leeds United director of football Victor Orta. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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