New Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa looking to add ‘four or five’ new faces

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LEEDS UNITED head coach Marcelo Bielsa is targeting signings in “four or five positions” before the end of his first transfer window, writes Phil Hay.

Bielsa said he was ready to work with a large number of the players already on United’s books but highlighted the need for “more experience” before the new Championship term begins.

The Argentinian arrived at Thorp Arch yesterday for his first day in charge and is looking for key additions to make United more competitive next season.

Leeds have been working on deals for Hull City forward Abel Hernandez and Derby County striker Matej Vydra and are also being linked with Bournemouth’s Lewis Grabban.

Hernandez and Vydra are prime targets but United looked into a deal for Grabban around the time of his appearance on loan for Aston Villa in the recent Championship play-off final.

Goalkeepers Angus Gunn and David Stockdale, with Manchester City and Birmingham City respectively, are also being courted while Leeds have a long-standing interest in Swansea City centre-back Kyle Bartley.

Matej Vydra

Matej Vydra

Any deal for Bartley, however, is likely to wait until relegated Swansea first resolve the futures of Alfie Mawson and Federico Fernandez.

Bielsa said: “For the moment we are not intending to bring too many new faces in.

“From my point of view the club have plenty of players on the books who I believe we should keep. The club generally have 15 players more than we need and we still have four or five different positions where we need to strengthen.

“Moving forward, the squad to my mind should not be too numerous and have too many players who are not getting game time. There might be some departures so the squad is not too high in number.

From my point of view the club have plenty of players on the books who I believe we should keep. The club generally have 15 players more than we need and we still have four or five different positions where we need to strengthen.

Marcelo Bielsa

“Obviously I can’t ignore that there are 46 games in this league. We’ve got one or two youngsters coming through who will be useful in that respect, to add those to the squad as a whole, but we might need to add one or two experienced faces to that squad.”

Marcelo Bielsa

Marcelo Bielsa

David Stockdale

David Stockdale