Simon Grayson's search for experienced midfielders is intensifying after Leeds United agreed to end Amdy Faye's short career at Elland Road.
The Senegalese international has parted company with Leeds after a four-month spell in West Yorkshire, with Grayson citing limited first-team opportunities as the reason for his departure.
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Faye – a former Stoke City and Newcastle United player – joined in September after a short trial but made only eight appearances, the last as a substitute in the 2-2 Boxing Day draw at Leicester City.
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His spell was affected by minor injury problems and United's consistent form during November and December restricted him to occasional outings from the bench. The club have decided not to renew the 33-year-old's short-term contract.
Grayson said: "He really needs to play more games than he's been able to, and opportunities have been limited for him."
Faye's exit has trimmed Grayson's group of available central midfielders, with Australia's Neil Kilkenny presently absent at the
Asian Cup in Qatar. The future of Honduran international Ramon Nunez is still uncertain with his short-term deal at Elland Road also on the point of expiry.
Grayson planned to add at least one midfielder to his squad during the January transfer window and Faye's exit is likely to hasten his search.
Leeds, however, have made one addition to their midfield ranks by signing youngster Zac Thompson on a six-month contract from Everton.
The 18-year-old put pen to paper ahead of last night's reserve-team fixture at Scunthorpe following a successful trial.
Thompson joined Leeds before Christmas and has earned a short-term deal from Grayson after featuring in a number of reserve friendlies and under-18 fixtures. He will remain with United until the end of the Championship season.
Everton first spotted Thompson at the age of five and he was a highly-rated member of their academy, but the teenage was unable to break into the first-team squad at Goodison Park.
His appearance in yesterday's totesport.com League East Division fixture at Glanford Park was his first competitive outing for Leeds, and it proved to be a happy one as the Whites cruised to a 3-0 victory.
Mike Grella, Davide Somma and Lewis Turner got the goals for Leeds and club captain Richard Naylor played 45 minutes on his return from injury.