Leeds United transfer business will be 'very difficult' in January, admits Marcelo Bielsa

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Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa expects the addition of new players in January to be “very difficult” and said he would not push the club to make signings with four absentees set to return from injury after the turn of the year.

Bielsa played down the possibility of significant business taking place in the next transfer window and insisted he was satisfied by the current make-up of his squad with United leading the Championship after 16 games.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

The 63-year-old has used a small pool of players and ridden multiple injuries to position Leeds in early contention for automatic promotion and he will see defenders Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi, striker Patrick Bamford and midfielder Izzy Brown make their comebacks from long-term absences early in the new year.

Leeds made just six signings in the summer window - two of those permanent - and Bielsa’s preference has been to manage a thin squad of 22 players, providing no more than two for each position.

January would present an opportunity for Leeds to consolidate a strong start to the term with fresh investment. Bielsa indicated that their activity but said he would listen to advice if the club felt strengthening was necessary.

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“It will be very difficult to add new players,” Bielsa said, “but we’ll have four more players coming in January: Bamford, Brown, Ayling and Berardi.”

Asked if he was happy with the squad available to him, Bielsa said: “Yes but it's only my opinion, I’m a member of the club. The club can have a different opinion and I’ll take that into account.”

Leeds spent £7m to take Bamford from Middlesbrough in the last window and paid Wolverhampton Wanderers £3m for left-back Barry Douglas but Brown, Lewis Baker, Jamal Blackman and Jack Harrison were all recruited on season-long loans. The club recouped more than £7m from the sale of Ronaldo Vieira to Sampdoria.

Bielsa has relied heavily on the players he inherited when he became head coach in June and his line-up at Wigan Athletic last Sunday featured only one - defender Douglas - who was not on the books last season.