Leeds United: Boss Monk set to meet United owners

GARRY Monk will discuss Leeds United's immediate plans with new co-owner Andrea Radrizzani at a meeting next week '“ but insists the thriving Whites need 'nothing drastic' in the current transfer window.

Friday, 6th January 2017, 8:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 3:19 am
Garry Monk

Italian businessman Radrizzani sealed his long-awaited investment in Leeds with the purchase of a 50 per cent stake from chairman Massimo Cellino on Wednesday, meaning the Elland Road club will move forward under the joint ownership of the two Italians.

Leeds are next in action on Monday night, an FA Cup third round clash at Cambridge United, and Monk will meet with both co-owners next week to discuss future plans including United’s targets during the current transfer window, with the head coach having briefly met Radrizzani earlier this season.

Monk was immediately impressed with the 42-year-old Italian who was one of the founders of the global media rights firm MP & Silva and helped build it into a company worth more than £500m.

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With Leeds also thriving and sat fifth in the Championship after nine wins from their last 12 league games, Monk also says Radrizzani is joining a side needing a couple of select additions this month.

Monk said: “I met him briefly earlier in the season and of course we were aware over recent months that this was a possibility.

“Now it has been made official, so I think it is really positive news for the club.

“He clearly has the passion to take this club forward and that’s really good to hear. We only met briefly, but he was very impressive. He speaks with good passion and I think his experience and also his contacts within this industry are key.

“You get the sense that he has come in to push this club forward with an ambitious approach in terms of trying

to realise the full potential of this club which it has.

“I am looking forward to next week, sitting down with the two owners and seeing what their ambitions are to go forward and how they are approaching it. I am sure it will all be geared towards pushing this club forward.”

Asked how the arrival of Radrizzani might effect United’s business in the January transfer window, Monk reasoned: “I have already talked about it in terms of nothing drastic is needed. But we definitely need one or two to help this squad and give them the best chance. That’s a constant thing anyway.

“But of course speaking to the two owners next week and their views on going forward and how we go about it, part of that will be those discussions as well.

“January is not the easiest window to do your business with but the club are fully aware of what I feel that we need with the squad and they are working as hard as they can behind the scenes to make sure that can happen.”

Leeds conducted their first piece of business in the January window yesterday when out of favour midfielder Luke Murphy joined Burton Albion on loan for the rest of the season.

But Monk has again insisted that United will not be selling any of their key players, including left back Charlie Taylor who handed in a transfer request last summer and who is out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

Asked if there had been any enquiries for Taylor, Monk declared: “Nothing at all. Our squad is what it is and we can’t afford to lose anything. We only need to add.

“That’s something that myself and obviously Mr Cellino and now obviously with the new owner as well - I am sure he will be of the same stance that we need to keep the squad together and make sure that we only add to it.”

On the incomings front, Leeds have been heavily linked with a loan move for West Ham United striker Ashley Fletcher while Leeds are also hopeful of tying up a permanent deal to sign Pablo Hernandez.

The no 10 playmaker reached the end of a six-month loan from Qatar side Al-Arabi after Monday’s 3-0 win over Rotherham United but is continuing to train at Thorp Arch with Leeds and Al-Arabi already in agreement over a permanent move.

United are also poised to make centre-back Pontus Jansson’s season-long loan move from Torino permanent when the defender has played 22 games, potentially as soon as next Friday’s league game against Derby County.

Monk said: “I think the club is working very hard and all of those things with the players that are currently here - the club are working very hard behind the scenes to make sure that we secure the squad.

“We are very happy with the squad that we have right now, they are all working terrifically well and we are only looking to add one or two to help them. Hopefully two.

“Everything that needs to be taken care of, the club will be working hard to make sure that happens.”