Leeds United transfer window state of play - where Whites stand with new deals, Raphinha contract talks, signings and exits
On the 12th day of the January transfer window Leeds United have given a first professional contract to Kris Moore but the bulk of their business is yet to come.
Here's the state of play as the Whites look to strengthen for the present and future.
Moore, an 18-year-old centre-half, got one today. It's his first pro contract and runs until the summer of 2024. It won't be the last contract signed at Elland Road this month. Talks with Adam Forshaw's representatives Wasserman have reached a stage that leads the Whites to expect confirmation this week or next. The midfielder has been a revelation since returning from injury, dumbfounding expectations with his performances and energy levels. Putting back-to-back-to-back displays together and looking none the worse for it physically is just what he and Leeds needed.
Another first team player whose representative, in this case former Portugal international Deco, is currently talking through the details of a new contract is Raphinha. Talks began in earnest this month after the idea was first broached late last year. The winger, undoubtedly the star attraction at Elland Road these days, is in line for a deal that will more closely reflect his importance and status as a top Premier League player. Talk of a move to Bayern Munich was just that, the German giants have never expressed any interest to Leeds, who are adamant he's staying put this month because it would make no sense to sell right now. His current deal runs to 2024, so Leeds are protected in the sense that they could command a huge fee this summer, but an improved, extended deal would not only strengthen their hand in case Champions League clubs come calling this summer, it would ensure Raphinha feels happy and valued. He will play Champions League football in the not-so-distant future, with or without Leeds, but if they can hold onto him at least until he has a chance to shine at the World Cup then they'll be laughing all the way to the bank.
Kalvin Phillips has put on record his desire for a new deal, an idea Leeds are very open to, but the YEP understands there is no imminent news on that front. He is also contracted until 2024, however, so there is no huge rush and the player is clearly happy at Leeds.
Under 23s player Nohan Kenneh, who has played in the centre of midfield and in the heart of the defence, is out of contract this summer.
Leeds United want a midfielder. They've wanted a midfielder for some time but Adam Forshaw was the last senior signing for that department, three years ago. They almost had one when Michael Cuisance flew in on a private jet to conclude a move from Bayern Munich in October 2020, but reports suggested something in his medical spooked Leeds and he flew right back out of Yorkshire again. They wanted one at the start of the summer window but instead of the central midfielder everyone expected, the deadline day signing that suddenly materialised was winger Daniel James, for £25m. This month, it really has to happen and Victor Orta is actively chasing targets. On day 12 of the window, nothing is imminent, but Leeds are hopeful of doing business and adding at least one to Marcelo Bielsa's squad. One senior signing would feel like the bare minimum, regardless of whether or not the current injury crisis is expected to abate in the next month or so. There's nothing to say that the present-day injuries are the last the Whites will suffer this season as they attempt to stay in the Premier League.
READ: Names data experts believe could be targets for Orta.The Under 23s' forward options have been strengthened with the arrival of Mateo Joseph Fernandez from Espanyol B, although having had to train on his own towards the end of his time in Spain, the 18-year-old will need to get up to speed at Thorp Arch. At the start of the window Leeds did hope to add another to Mark Jackson's ranks and looking at the 23s squad and its balance, a left-back is what looks necessary. Winger Liam McCarron has been playing there, as has centre-half Leo Hjelde but the club is decidedly light on left-back options beyond Junior Firpo and Stuart Dallas, who also has to play in midfield and provide cover at right-back.
One is anticipated shortly - namely Cody Drameh. The right-back and his camp clearly believe that regular football at a good, competitive level is what he needs and to that end a move to Championship Cardiff City makes perfect sense. Premier League 2 has looked a little comfortable for him and while he's had some involvement with Bielsa's first team of late, when Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas are fit and when Jamie Shackleton returns game time looks unlikely. The move, expected to be wrapped up today, is clearly a risk for Leeds though until such a time as they add to the squad or get players back from injury. Leeds insist they still see a future for him at Elland Road and hope to get an improved Drameh back in the summer.Bielsa's thoughts on the matter will be an interesting talking point at his Friday afternoon press conference.
There are very few other players you could see going out on loan, with the squad so small and with the injury situation being what it is. If everyone was fit you might have been able to argue that a loan move would benefit Tyler Roberts but given his recent calf problem and the fact that Bielsa has no fully fit and in-form strikers at present, it's surely off the table completely.