Daniel Farke's Leeds United press conference live: Transfer strategy, Luke Ayling loan exit and Cardiff City

Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Leeds United manager Daniel Farke hosts his pre-match press conference at Thorp Arch ahead of his side's visit to face Cardiff City this weekend.

The Whites will be without Djed Spence and Luke Ayling on Saturday as the team face Erol Bulut's Bluebirds, after the pair departed Elland Road under different circumstances. It's anticipated Farke will provide an injury update on the other members of his squad who were absent for the 3-0 win over Peterborough United in the FA Cup Third Round last Sunday.

It is just over a year since Leeds' most recent visit to the Cardiff City Stadium, and five months on from the reverse fixture - a 2-2 draw to kickstart Leeds' Championship campaign which signalled Farke's first competitive game in charge.

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The manager and his squad bid farewell to Ayling after seven-and-a-half years earlier this week as the 32-year-old defender joined Middlesbrough on loan for the remainder of the season. It spells the end of Ayling's time at Elland Road with his contract expiring at the end of 2023/24.

The manager is expected to pay tribute to the Leeds stalwart in his pre-match press conference this afternoon, which takes place from 1:30pm, in addition to explaining how the Whites plan to navigate the January transfer market having allowed two right-backs to leave during the first ten days of the month. Follow all the updates here.

Illan [Meslier] is thank god, back, and he will return back to the goal if nothing major happens in the next training session. Sam Byram joined us in team training today, Ian Poveda had illness at the start of the week - I think both will be able to travel with us to Cardiff. The same with Joffy, he was out but back in training. The bad news is Pascal Struijk will still be out for this game, no chance to travel with us. Liam Cooper is a major doubt, he was not able to train, he still report some groin issues.

Farke on outgoing loans

Darko [Gyabi] was in last week part of the U21 and has trained with them, perhaps it's a good choice for him to have a loan deal. We are working on a deal behind the scenes for him. Joffy [Gelhardt] is a proper part of our [main] group and has played several games. At the moment I'm not tempted to give many more players away. With Djed Spence, that was our decision. We want to more-or-less keep the group. We are not tempted to give players away. Perhaps a different situation at the end of January.

Farke on full-backs

If there is business done, we will speak about that. I don't want to point out exactly this is the position or that is the position. Everyone knows the position we need to strengthen.

Farke on replacements

As you know I'm a big fan of being open and honest and what we need to do. I was the same way in the summer. I have to say I'm a bit more careful in January because this market is difficult. We have a few areas where we are a bit too little in number but I also know the January market is difficult. The players on the market at the moment are those coming from injury or are not playing. No one is tempted to give players away who are playing regularly. In the summer you have pre-season, friendlies, you don't have this in January - or you have to spend crazy money and this is what we can't do. For that, I'm always a bit careful to speak publicly about what we do in January. Of course we have a few positions it would be great to strengthen. It also doesn't help if I speak publicly if we need to bring in a player in this or that position, in negotiations, it just puts the prices up.

Farke on Ayling [continued]

We handled the situation with class and style, exactly the way Luke was always there for this club. He will always be a Leeds United legend a big member of our group.

He was the oldest player in our group, his contract runs out in the summer. In his stage he wants more minutes. The fire is still burning. We couldn't guarantee this. We've said 'ok selfishly we'd like to keep you, but you've done so much'. He was such a professional and loyal player, you deserve a final goodbye when you choose when to go.

Farke on full-backs

With Luke it was a special situation. I spoke a lot publicly about my appreciation and his value for us a club and as a group. Obviously if we judge the situation a bit selfishly, it's not like our numbers in this position are too big. You want to keep a player like Ayling because he's proven and experienced, and also as a human being. On the evening after the cup game, he came to see us and if we would allow him a move. If a player with this CV for this club asks you for this then you have to listen to him and talk to him. It was not the moment to think selfishly. He has done so great for the club so he has so many years here, I am here six months. I think it's then totally fair to say we listen to him.

Updates to follow.

Reminder: Presser kick-off time

Hearing from Farke at 1:30pm. Follow it via text updates here.

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