Leeds United: Grayson in Lichaj talks

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SIMON Grayson has held talks with Aston Villa over the availability of Eric Lichaj as he looks to break Leeds United’s transfer impasse before their pre-season friendly at Falkirk.

Grayson revealed that he had spoken to Villa manager Alex McLeish about a second deal with Lichaj after taking the defender on loan from the Birmingham club during the second half of last season.

Lichaj made 16 appearances for Leeds in a largely successful spell at Elland Road and Grayson, whose transfer dealings are under growing scrutiny, is waiting to learn of McLeish’s plans for the American international.

Grayson said: “I’ve spoken to Alex McLeish about him but they’ve only just gone back to training and Alex will want to assess his squad. But Eric’s high up on the list of players we’d like to bring in.”

United’s boss has been pursuing his preferred targets throughout the summer but the acquisition of only one new player to date – goalkeeper Paul Rachubka – has attracted criticism from the club’s support.

Leeds depart for their pre-season tour of Scotland tomorrow, with their first friendly due to take place against Falkirk on Wednesday night, and Grayson is hoping to see further deals materialise before that fixture.

“We’re a long way down the line with a couple of deals,” he said. “I’d like to think that we’ll have a couple of new players, if not more, for the Scotland trip.

“Like all the fans, we want something to be happening. Ideally I’d like to have all my players in place for the middle of next week but it doesn’t always happen like that.”