Leeds United close in on first January transfer window signings

Sol Bamba in action for Leicester City.
Sol Bamba in action for Leicester City.
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Sol Bamba and Granddi Ngoyi are awaiting the finishing touches on transfers to Leeds United as the club close in on their first signings of the January transfer window.

Centre-back Bamba and midfielder Ngoyi have been lined up for half-season loans at Elland Road and should seal their moves from Italian club Palermo before the end of this week.

A deal for Bamba - the former Leicester City and Hibernian defender - has been on the cards since last weekend and the importance of his arrival was heightened by a two-match ban imposed on Giuseppe Bellusci in midweek.

Bellusci received a straight red card towards the end of United’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth and will miss their upcoming matches against Huddersfield Town and Brentford.

Bamba and Ngoyi are due to be added to United’s squad in time to secure international clearance and compete for places in Neil Redfearn’s squad at Huddersfield next weekend.

Ngoyi came onto United’s radar during the early stages of the January window and an agreement with Palermo for his signature was reached earlier this week.

The 26-year-old Frenchman has been with Palermo for the past 18 months, his first stint outside of the French league.

Ngoyi - a defensive midfielder - started his career at Paris Saint-Germain and also played for Troyes before departing for Italy in 2013. He won promotion from Serie B with Palermo last season.

Bamba was one of the Italian club’s signings following their rise to Serie A but despite accepting a three-year contract in August, the 30-year-old has only made one league appearance.

Leeds, who are under a Financial Fair Play transfer embargo and cannot pay fees for players this month, have negotiated clauses allowing them to take Bamba and Ngoyi on a permanent basis at the end of the Championship season.

The initial loan moves are still subject to the completion of paperwork at Elland Road.

The pair’s arrival in Leeds is likely to be followed by at least one further signing with United continuing to look for a new striker. Catania’s Edgar Cani and Sassuolo’s Leonardo Pavoletti are the club’s main targets.

Speaking after United’s crucial win over Bournemouth - a result which pulled Leeds away from the Championship’s relegation zone - head coach Neil Redfearn said: “We want to bring players in but we don’t want to bring players in who are just as good as what we’ve got.

“They need to be better because the players here are playing well.”

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