Leeds United managing director Angus Kinnear says he is confident the club will fulfil their plans for the transfer window with United a month away from the deadline for permanent signings.
Speaking today, Kinnear described the club’s transfer negotiations as “absolutely under control” but admitted the market was “slow and tough” amid limited movement at Elland Road.
Leeds have sanctioned a number of departures in the past three weeks, removing fringe players from their squad, while Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker became their first new recruit last weekend after signing on a season-long loan.
United’s recruitment team have devoted time to negotiations over several high-profile targets, including Derby County’s Matej Vydra and Uruguayan international Abel Hernandez, but those deals have yet to reach a conclusion and the club are attempting to bring their goalkeeper search to a conclusion this week having seen an offer to sign David Stockdale on loan rejected by Birmingham City.
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Championship clubs have until August 7 - two days after Leeds’ first league game against Stoke City - to make full-time additions to their squad after a number of sides, United included, voted to bring forward the traditional August 31 deadline. Loan signings will continue to be sanctioned until the end of August.
Kinnear told the YEP: “We are making progress. It’s slow, it’s a tough market and there are things that are slow because of the World Cup but we expect things to speed up once people return back from that. There’ll be bigger moves at other clubs which trigger moves we might be able to make.
“It’s slow and steady but it’s absolutely under control. The discussions continue. It’s very considered and we’re not rushing into anything. Last year Victor (Orta, Leeds’ director of football) and I only arrived in June and we didn’t have a huge base of preparation to work off. We had to move quite quickly. This year the targets have been identified earlier so it’s a case of working hard to get the right people rather than working hard to get anybody.
“We’d like to go out against Stoke with what we think is going to be the first choice XI but when you look at how the market’s operating and what people are demanding in the transfer market, loans are something we’ll use very actively. Premier League clubs have big squads and lots of talent in those squads and they’re looking to showcase that talent.”
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Leeds tapped into the Premier League to sign 23-year-old Baker, an England Under-21 international who has moved out of Stamford Bridge on a temporary basis for the sixth time in his career.
Baker, who endured a disappointing spall at Middlesbrough last season, is understood to have taken a hit in wages to link up with Leeds and new head coach Marcelo Bielsa, making up the difference between Chelsea’s demands and the amount of his salary United were willing to pay.
“We’re really pleased with Lewis,” Kinnear said. “It’s probably fair to say that Lewis wouldn’t have come if Marcelo wasn’t here.
“He was very focused on the type of football we were going to play, and the vision. We’ve got a great deal because if you speak to the guys at Chelsea they rate him really highly.
“I think he was frustrated because one of his loans didn’t work out last year and that was very much down to style of football. We think we can put that right.”