Leeds United’s search for a new striker came to nothing last night as the transfer window closed without any deadline-day additions to the squad at Elland Road.
Head coach Steve Evans drew a blank as the January market reached its 11pm cut-off point, leaving him to fight on with his existing group of forwards after a month in which Leeds completed three incoming deals. Evans secured an extension of Liam Bridcutt’s loan from Sunderland at the start of last month and struck a temporary deal for Middlesbrough winger Mustapha Carayol before signing Toumani Diagouraga from Brentford in a £575,000 move.
A new striker, however, was a priority for United’s boss heading into the final days of the window after his shallow pool of options was weakened by the recurrence of Chris Wood’s hamstring injury.
Evans targeted Barnsley forward Sam Winnall last week but had a £300,000 bid rejected and also failed with an approach to take Fraizer Campbell on loan from Crystal Palace.
Norwich City’s Kyle Lafferty was a target throughout the window and Evans remained hopeful that a late deal might be reached for the Northern Ireland international yesterday but Lafferty remained at Carrow Road as the window closed.
Evans, who saw right-back Sam Byram sold to West Ham United in a £3.7 deal on January 20, claimed last week that he was happy with the backing given to him by Cellino but conceded that he was running short of players with injuries biting.
The Scot had insisted that funds were available to him in the aftermath of Byram’s exit but he secured only one permanent signing in Diagouraga.
“The Sam Byram money plus more money is available now,” Evans said last month.
“There was more than what Sam went for three days ago.
“But we have to find the right players.”