'I can't say yes or no' - Marcelo Bielsa open to Leeds United signings in January transfer window

The winter transfer window will open on January 1.

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 1:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st December 2020, 1:08 pm

Marcelo Bielsa has left open the possibility of adding to his Leeds United squad during the upcoming January transfer market.

Elland Road sporting director Victor Orta oversaw a busy summer of business in West Yorkshire following the club's promotion from the Championship to the Premier League.

Spending neared the £100m mark in LS11 as the Whites boosted Bielsa's squad with a number of headline signings - including the capture of Spain international Rodrigo - ahead of their assault on the top flight.

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Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Getty

Leeds smashed their long-standing transfer record to land Rodrigo (£29m) whilst adding fellow international Diego Llorente (£20m) and German defender Robin Koch (£14m).

United moved for Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Cuisance - who now plys his trade with Marseille - but after late complications in the deal landed the signature of Stade Rennes winger Raphinha (£17m) on deadline day instead.

First team arrivals in the winter window have rarely worked under Bielsa during his time at the club, due to his strict regime and the fitness demands required.

The Leeds boss, though, has admitted he cannot say either way whether the club will make a move in the market throughout the month.

"I can't give you a firm answer, I can't say yes or no," Bielsa said over any possible transfer activity.

"If there is a player that clearly improves the squad then obviously it would be good for the future of the club.

"The option to bring a great player to the club sometimes depends on the needs of the team but sometimes opportunities arise. In this sense Victor Orta has a way of working which usually benefits the team."

Orta has spoken previously about his dislike for the winter window, believing that most business is best left until the summer.

Problems in the month-long market are rife and can be risky for business, with the financial impact of a global pandemic to consider also.

“For me firstly, it’s [about] availability,” Orta told the YEP recently.

“You go to a player who is playing in a lower division, or you go for a player who is not playing in your division or at another level, it is a risk.

“The availability of the players is limited by that. Obviously, the way to choose is limited, so you [can’t always] make a proper choice [in January].

“The situation with economics is strange. I think people want to sell - but don’t sell because they need to buy. They don’t want to spend. It makes it a strange market again.

“I am not a proper fan of the January market, I [have] always said that. The stats say the same about our business in the winter market [recently].

“We need to be really clever. If one option appears, who we think clearly improves the squad, obviously [we need to] be ready to make [an offer].

“I trust a lot of the squad we have, I trust a lot of the ways our staff are living for Marcelo. [The] winter market is a circumstance and one we need to evaluate carefully.”