DCSIMG

Leeds United: New winger next on Mac’s wishlist

Scott Wootton. PIC: Steve Riding

Scott Wootton. PIC: Steve Riding

  • by Phil Hay
 

Brian McDermott has made a new winger his wish for the last week of the transfer window after signing Scott Wootton and confirming the start of contract talks with Ross McCormack.

The Leeds United manager claimed the arrival of Wootton from Manchester United on Tuesday would not be the end of business at Elland Road as he turned his attention to the final days of the summer market.

McDermott said he “wouldn’t write off doing anything else” after the deal for Wootton took his tally of signings to four and he is optimistic that Leeds will end speculation about McCormack’s future by improving the forward’s deal.

McCormack has been the subject of three offers from Middlesbrough – all of them rejected by Leeds – and negotiations between the club and his advisors are underway with a view to committing him to United beyond the summer of 2015.

The Scotland international has two years remaining on a contract he agreed last August but persistent approaches from Boro – the third and most recent for a fee in excess of £1.5million – have prompted fresh discussions.

McDermott said: “The club are talking to him regarding his contract. Middlesbrough are making offers and the club are turning down the offers. That tells you something – we want him to be here.

“Ross wants to stay and I want him to stay. Thats our statement, absolutely, and we’ve all seen how important he is to us. He shows real touches of class and he’s got two goals in three games.”

McDermott has fought against all interest in McCormack and his concerns about a shortage of cover at centre-back were alleviated when 21-year-old Wootton agreed a three-year deal with Leeds.

But talking ahead of tomorrow’s match at Ipswich Town, United’s fourth Championship fixture of the season, McDermott again stated the need for wingers at Elland Road and revealed that he had options which he would move for if Leeds’ financial situation allowed him to.

“I wouldn’t write off doing anything else and obviously we have a lack of a winger or two.” he said. “That would be something we’d look at.

“I’ve got options, there’s no doubt I’ve got options. It would depend on finances and everything else.

“But you have to give credit to the owners. They’ve done the deal (for Wootton) and we’re doing everything we can to keep Ross.”

McDermott had been operating on a one out, one in basis for many weeks but the signing of Wootton for an undisclosed fee went through despite no players leaving Elland Road.

The Leeds boss said: “I spoke to the owners on Saturday and on Monday and Tuesday and we had really good conversations.

“I said how important it was to bring this player into the club. You’re talking about bringing in someone with his whole football life in front of him.

“You’re trying to add value to your squad as well while bringing in players who can play now.”

Wootton will feature in McDermott’s squad at Ipswich, where Leeds are attempting to extend their unbeaten record into a fourth league game.

But United have not won at Portman Road for 12 years and Mick McCarthy’s showed a competitive streak in their opening three matches, despite suffering narrow defeats at Reading and Queens Park Rangers.

“You know you’re going to be against a team who are up for the game,” McDermott said.

“They play in Mick’s likeness – they’re whole-hearted, strong and they’ve got pace out wide. We know what we’re coming up against but I like going there.”

 

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