Robbie Rogers is poised to complete his transfer to Leeds United after winning his fight for a work permit –but the USA international will not feature in Saturday’s clash with Ipswich Town.
Rogers will put pen to paper on an initial 18-month deal early next week after the Home Office accepted his appeal for a UK permit.
The 24-year-old’s application was open to doubt due to his failure to feature in 75 per cent of America’s competitive fixtures in the past two years – a stipulation set by the Home Office – but United successfully argued his case at a hearing in London.
Leeds used a number of references, including one from USA coach and former Germany striker Jurgen Klinsmann, to argue that Rogers is an established international, and manager Simon Grayson has committed himself to blooding the winger during the second half of the Championship season.
But Rogers, whose contract at Elland Road has the option of another year, is unavailable this weekend with Leeds waiting to secure a visa and international clearance for the wide man.
United will beginning life without club captain Jonathan Howson against Ipswich with the midfielder in the process of completing a transfer to Premier League side Norwich City.
The 23-year-old has a knee injury and would not have been fit to play tomorrow regardless of Norwich’s bid, and Grayson was weighing up his next choice of captain today with defender Patrick Kisnorbo – Howson’s understudy – set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Goalkeeper Andy Lonergan has carried the armband in the absence of both players and looks likely to take on the role having previously captained Preston North End.
Kisnorbo is part of a long-term injury list which also includes striker Davide Somma, and Leigh Bromby remains doubtful with a calf strain.
Meanwhile, young keeper Alex Cairns has agreed a new two-year deal with United.
The 19-year-old made his senior debut in a 5-0 loss to Blackpool in November and has appeared on the bench seven times.