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Leeds United: McDermott hopes for a breakthrough

Brian McDermott.
Brian McDermott.
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Leeds United manager Brian McDermott insisted last night that he was hopeful of a positive end to the transfer window, saying: “Something will break for us.”

McDermott vowed to overcome the restrictions facing him and make the most of a vital fortnight as he confirmed that a high wage bill was continuing to stand in the way of new signings.

The United boss said the scenario at Elland Road was “not the easiest situation in the world” with a lack of interest in his available players stifling his attempts to bring others to Leeds ahead of the transfer deadline on September 2.

The pressure on McDermott to ease a £15m wage bill first is forcing him to listen to approaches for a number of his senior squad members, among them Senegalese international El-Hadji Diouf, and the 52-year-old is waiting for an incoming offer which frees him to finalise deals for key targets.

McDermott, who has been linked repeatedly with young Manchester United centre-back Scott Wootton after missing out on Brighton’s Gordon Greer, revealed that he had one signing lined up and ready to proceed and needed only the go-ahead to complete the transfer.

He has not recruited any new players since landing Noel Hunt on July 3.

McDermott said: “We think we’re further on with one but it’s not the easiest situation in the world.

“We’ve talked about this before where maybe a player has to leave for a player to come in. That really hasn’t changed and that’s where we are.

“Numbers-wise we’re short in certain areas.

“It’s pretty obvious for everyone to see.

“We have an overload in certain positions and in other positions we certainly haven’t.

“But we’re hoping that something might break for us and with the window shutting at the end of the month, I believe something will happen and something will break for us.

“I’ve got one particular deal that can be done and hopefully will be done.

“We’ll see what happens after that.”

McDermott’s players have made a positive start to the season and will attempt to extend their unbeaten run into a fourth game during tomorrow’s derby against Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road.

The squad at Leeds is almost at full strength following Diouf’s recovery from a shin problem, and right-back Sam Byram still has a chance of avoiding an operation on his injured hip after training for the past two days.

McDermott said: “He was a bit sore yesterday which is a shame but he’ll rest today and we’re pretty hopeful. It would be great to get him back.”