Leeds United: Grayson focusing on new recruits

Leeds United manager Simon Grayson will use a free week to devote himself to the transfer market after confirming that he expects to complete more than one signing before the January window closes.

Grayson said a short break in United's season had given him the opportunity to push through a number of deals ahead of the transfer deadline, and his work is taking on increasing urgency with the window due to shut in seven days.

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The Leeds boss revealed his intention to sign a replacement for Andrew Hughes, the versatile 33-year-old who joined Scunthorpe on Friday, and additions to his midfield remain a priority with Australian international Neil Kilkenny still involved in the Asian Cup in Qatar.

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United do not play again until their visit to Hull City next Tuesday, and Grayson will attempt to maximise his resources for the Championship run-in by making telling additions to his squad.

Grayson said: "Andrew Hughes left to go to Scunthorpe so we need to fill his shoes, and there are other areas of the field where I want to bring players in. A free week is an opportunity to do that and I'd like to think I'll be able to.

"We've been linked with good players in the window and attracting good players to Leeds United has never been a problem in the past. I hope it won't be a problem in the next week or so."

Leeds have limited themselves to deals with two senior players so far this month, signing Andy O'Brien on a two-and-a-half-year contract from Bolton Wanderers and taking George McCartney on a half-season loan from Sunderland.

But a new midfielder has been on Grayson's wish-list for weeks, his need heightened by Kilkenny's departure to the Asian Cup on January 2. Australia reached the semi-finals of the competition by beating Iraq in extra-time on Saturday, and Kilkenny's participaton in United's game at Hull on February 1 will be doubtful if his country appear in the final at the weekend.

O'Brien, however, is likely to recover from a minor hamstring injury before the game at the KC Stadium having missed Saturday's draw with Portsmouth.

Grayson welcomed the break in United's season after a spell in which his squad have contested two FA Cup ties against Arsenal and a spate of demanding league games.

"It's come a good time," he said. "The games we've had have been hard physically and mentally but the players will get a bit of a breather now and should be refreshed and ready to go next Tuesday."

Elland Road, Leeds.

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