'Our criteria for new players will be exacting.' Leeds United managing director spells out club's transfer window plan

Leeds United managing director Angus Kinnear says the club will take an 'exacting' approach to the January transfer window and be careful not to 'destabilise' their table-topping squad.

Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 11:28 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 16:11 pm
Samuel Saiz, who left Leeds United for Getafe last week. Leeds United could look to replace him in the transfer window.

Kinnear warned of a challenging month to come with Leeds considering how to strengthen a side who lead the Championship by one point and competing strongly for automatic promotion.

United will move for a new goalkeeper and have identified Newcastle United’s Karl Darlow as their leading target but the departure of Samuel Saiz on loan to Getafe could force the club to bring in an additional midfielder.

Saiz left Elland Road last week after informing Leeds that he was unhappy in England and Kinnear described the decision to allow him to move on as “best for the club”.

Getafe are loaning Saiz until the end of the season with a view to a permanent £6m move next summer and his departure has earned United no immediate fee but head coach Marcelo Bielsa hinted on Friday that the surprise exit could force him to act in the transfer market.

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Writing in the programme ahead of today’s game against Blackburn Rovers, Kinnear said: “We will use the January market to evaluate any opportunities but our criteria on adding to the squad will be exacting.

“Any new face will need to add significant and immediate capability to the first team, fit within our reasonable wage structure and not destabilise the squad that has served us so well.

“Identifying and securing this type of player will be challenging and we are conscious that the majority of January purchases fail to deliver against expectations. However, our scouting and analytics capability give us a better chance to beat the odds.”

Kinnear said the club felt “disappointment” over Saiz’s request to depart after just 18 months at Elland Road.

“The club has one of the best player support networks at our level and we provide everything that is needed to give our players the best chance to be successful,” Kinnear said.

“However, ultimately we cannot be in a position where any element of the squad is allowed to depart from the unbelievable level of commitment, passion and focus they have shown this season.

“We wish Samu the best in La Liga and know that the collective decision was the best for the club.”