With one week to go, Leeds United play ‘poker game’ to attract newcomers

Leeds United head coach Garry Monk. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Leeds United head coach Garry Monk. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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CHIEF executive Ben Mansford says Leeds United are having to be patient in the transfer market.

With the new season a little over a week away, six new faces have arrived at Elland Road during Garry Monk’s first summer at the helm.

United, however, are keen to bolster the squad further and Monk hopes to run the rule over Italian trialist Gabriele Perico during tomorrow’s home friendly against Atalanta.

“Garry knows where he would like to go and he has got support to add players to complement the group,” said Mansford. “They are identified, we are in talks with them and I hope they land.

“He has got a shortlist now of a small number of players he wants to bring in that he thinks will make us competitive, that he is excited about.

“He is challenging us to only bring in players who are better. I would love to be announcing a wonderful signing every day, but in a very competitive market you have got to jockey for position and at times it is a game of poker.

“In this industry you are one phone call away from a wonderful deal and one phone call away from six months of hard work going down the pan. That’s never going to change.”

Perico, meanwhile, has been on trial at Elland Road this week as Monk continues to search for a new full-back after deciding against moves for Fleetwood Town’s Conor McLaughlin and Reece Wabara, the former Barnsley and Doncaster Rovers man.

“I think what you have to accept is that the owner (Massimo Cellino) has his set of contacts and Garry has his set of contacts and ideas,” Mansford added.

“I worked hard at Barnsley with a remit to recruit players under 25, players who have their better years ahead of them. So we pool those different resources.

“Here we have got an opportunity to bring someone in, especially to a young group, who has over 100 Serie A games behind him,” Mansford said.

“He has played 50, 60 games in the last two years so therefore it makes sense to look at someone like that.

“If he’s at a stage of fitness where he can play against Atalanta, everyone can form an opinion and Garry can form one too. It is a situation where we are taking an opportunity.”