Ones to watch - what could change for Leeds United before January transfer window deadline?

The likeliest outcome, at present, for Leeds United in the remainder of the transfer window is for Marcelo Bielsa's squad to stay as it is.

By Graham Smyth
Friday, 28th January 2022, 12:52 pm

But, as ever, everything in football is subject to change, especially in the final days and hours before a deadline.

Midfield vacancy

Leeds are not planning to make a third bid for Brenden Aaronson, a Red Bull Salzburg midfielder who is currently away on international duty with the USA. Leeds tried to tempt the Austrian Bundesliga leaders into a January with two bids, of £15m and £20m, to no avail. That chase will now resume in the summer and Leeds appear confident on that front after the leg work put in by Victor Orta this month. Aaronson was the one they wanted and made it clear earlier in the month that if they couldn't get him, they wouldn't go for another. The caveat is, of course, that if someone else high up on Orta's list, a player Leeds considered unavailable or unobtainable, suddenly became an option then they might react, as they did with Raphinha. The Brazilian winger is the perfect example of a rabbit Orta pulled from his hat with astonishing speed, taking everyone by surprise. At present, however, with three days left to do business, such an opportunity is not presenting itself.

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Wingers

The links to Liverpool's Takumi Minamino make sense because Leeds have a potential situation with Crysencio Summerville. There are a number of clubs keen on the 20-year-old Dutchman but Leeds say Marcelo Bielsa has shown no interest in moving Summerville on. The youngster is part of Bielsa's plans for the wide areas, although he is undoubtedly fourth in the pecking order behind Raphinha, Jack Harrison and Daniel James. Herein lies the rub - gametime. If Summerville makes a case that he needs to go elsewhere to play, then Bielsa's stance would surely resemble his approach to the Cody Drameh situation and Leeds would be a winger light. Elland Road sources say the only scenario in which Summerville could go is if they could replace him, which is why a conversation with Liverpool has likely taken place. Liverpool are reportedly closing in on Luis Diaz so moving Minamino would help them free up cash but even if Leeds came to some agreement with the Reds, a 27-year-old, established player like Minamino would surely take issue with the idea of sitting on Leeds' bench. The Summerville situation feels like the only one that might change in the window's final days, but at present there is nothing happening.

Outgoings

Leeds had no plans to sell anyone in this window, particularly with the injury situation being as it is. They, like almost every club in the Premier League, would find it hard to turn down a huge sum of money for any player and every player has his price but it feels like it would take truly silly money, the kind that allows you to go out and buy three or four players, for anyone to depart before Monday night. What's more, no one is pushing to leave. Raphinha, the player you might consider most likely to exit in the next year or so, is in talks for a new contract. Kalvin Phillips, a player undoubtedly being tracked by big-pocketed clubs, also wants a new deal and is happy at Leeds. Illan Meslier, a player with an enormous future, is a number one goalkeeper in the Premier League at the age of 21. Keeping hold of the star players this month was important for Leeds and on that front at least, the job appears to be done.

WANTED MAN - There are clubs interested in taking Crysencio Summerville from Leeds United, but Marcelo Bielsa considers the winger part of his plans. Pic: Getty