Leeds United: Pennington among potential loan targets

Everton centre-back Matthew Pennington could be on his way back to Elland Road on loan.
Everton centre-back Matthew Pennington could be on his way back to Elland Road on loan.
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Leeds United are continuing to look for additions to their midfield and defence but their transfer dealings are set to run beyond tonight’s permanent deadline with the club focused on loan signings.

The EFL will call a halt to permanent deals at 5pm this evening, in line with the Premier League, but Championship clubs are permitted to bring in players on loan for another three weeks, until FIFA’s window closes on August 31.

Leeds Unitedm managing director Angus Kinnear. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Leeds Unitedm managing director Angus Kinnear. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Leeds have made five signings this summer, the most high-profile of which are left-back Barry Douglas from Wolverhampton Wanderers and striker Patrick Bamford from Middlesbrough, and the Elland Road club see the bulk of their business as complete less than seven days into the new season.

A centre-back remains on their list of targets and Leeds have approached Everton over another temporary deal for Matthew Pennington, the defender who spent last season in West Yorkshire.

United are also considering recruiting another midfielder after selling Ronaldo Vieira to Sampdoria and have been assessing wingers with the aim of improving head coach Marcelo Bielsa’s options out wide.

Bielsa said upon his arrival at Elland Road that he saw “four or five positions” which required strengthening and he has purposely maintained a trimmed-down squad, saying he wanted a maximum of “two players for each position so they have a possibility to play.”

Leeds, who secured a seven-figure cash injection in May when the investment arm of the San Francisco 49ers bought 12 per cent of the club, spent around £10m on Douglas and Bamford while taking Jamal Blackman and Lewis Baker on loan from Chelsea and Jack Harrison on loan from Manchester City.

They recouped around £7.7m from Vieira’s departure last week, a deal which owner Andrea Radrizzani told the YEP was necessarily to support United’s business in the transfer market.

Speaking on the Talking Shutt podcast earlier this week, managing director Angus Kinnear indicated that any additional signing would be temporary, saying: “It’s more likely to be a loan than it is a permanent purchase.

“Marcelo is spending a lot of time with Victor (Orta), Andrea and I discussing where are the gaps, where’s the strength, where can he move people across the backline. If we’re going to strengthen with one or two additions before the end of August, what are the positions where you get the most impact for money?”