Leeds United: Monk’s transfer targets to be revealed in the ‘coming days’

Kemar Roofe is congratulated by Sol Bamba and Kyle Bartley after scoring against Atalanta.
Kemar Roofe is congratulated by Sol Bamba and Kyle Bartley after scoring against Atalanta.
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HEAD coach Garry Monk said the identity of some of Leeds United’s remaining transfer targets would be revealed “in the next few days” after watching his side grind out victory against Serie A side Atalanta at Elland Road.

A first-half penalty from Chris Wood followed by a second-half strike from Kemar Roofe sealed a 2-1 victory in the club’s final pre-season friendly, which fell eight days short of next Sunday’s Championship opener at Queen’s Park Rangers.

And Monk admitted afterwards that there was still a need to further strengthen the squad at Leeds, with the head coach hopeful of further new arrivals before the trip to Loftus Road.

Leeds continue to be linked with a move for Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt who excelled last season on loan at Elland Road while suggestions emerged on Saturday evening that United are also looking at former Swansea City winger Pablo Hernández who is currently with Qatari side Al-Arabi.

Monk refused to be drawn on individual targets but was asked in which areas he would like to strengthen and replied: “There will always be positions and as a manager I could probably tell you that there’s always positions that you would love to strengthen.

“But we have identified them and I am sure you will see it in the coming days. You will see the positions that we are trying to look for and then we go from there.

“But I don’t talk about players. We keep that in-house. We keep our business respectful.”

Monk also said rumours of interest in buying Leeds from a consortium based in China would have no effect on his players.

It was revealed on Friday that Leeds United fan Steve Tappin, the chief executive officer and founder of consultancy firm Xinfu, has been holding talks with a consortium consisting of entrepreneurs and a private equity group who could be about to launch a bid to buy the club.

Tappin took to social media on Saturday afternoon to say that he “remained committed to finding the right funding for Leeds with interested Chinese investors” but that it was “not necessary to comment in the English press.”

Whites chairman Massimo Cellino was at Elland Road on Saturday to witness his club’s final pre-season friendly and there are suggestions that the Italian is not interested in selling.

“We don’t focus on those things,” said Monk, asked if the Chinese speculation had been discussed in the dressing room.

“My job is to focus on my players and my players’ job is to focus on what they do. That’s what we’ve been implementing and that’s a mentality that we are trying to create within the group and I have been very pleased as well with that side of it as well with the players.

“There’s a very big togetherness coming here and that real sense of unity in what we are building – you could see that on Saturday when you are playing against a very good side – a high-class side with very good individual players. You need that togetherness and that spirit and I thought you saw that.

“We weren’t at our best with the ball but we found a way to win the game and we did it through the other side which we train – our shape, our tactical shape, and our set pieces. We found a way to win the game and that only comes from spirit as well.

“I am sure you will see the other side improve as well as the season goes on and if you can have all of those elements at a very high level or at the biggest potential that we have at this club then you will see a very good team.”