Football Gossip: Leeds United, Barnsley and Van Gaal in trouble

Summit meeting for Barnsley manager Lee Johnson.
Summit meeting for Barnsley manager Lee Johnson.
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For the latest transfer gossip ahead of January for Yorkshire clubs, and the national scene, log on here.

Leeds United manager Steve Evans says the club are in talks with up to four players with a view to coming in to Elland Road in January.

In the wake of the Whites’ 1-0 win over Preston, Evans said club president Massimo Cellino had put calls in to a number of Premier League clubs enquiring about players.

Evans also said that summer signing Lee Erwin, who spent time on loan at Bury this season, needs to get fitter.

Evans said: “Lee Erwin needs to get fitter. He can either get fitter or go to Scotland. The nice thing is he’s working so hard at Thorp Arch, I think he’s got his sleeping bag in.

“When we get him where we want him, which is only where he was at Motherwell, we’re getting Lee back in control [of his fitness] and he’ll have a big future at Leeds United.”

Barnsley manager Lee Johnson faces an important meeting with the board today.

Central defender Kevin Long, back from a three-match ban on Saturday, looks set to extend his loan, from Burnley but the future of others is up in the air.

Decisions must be taken on full-backs free agent Reece Wabara and Aidy White (Rotherham United), midfield man Ben Pearson (Manchester United), winger Lloyd Isgrove (Southampton), and strikers Ivan Toney (Newcastle) and Michael Smith (Swindon).

Interest is also growing from other clubs in Barnsley play-maker Conor Hourihane, though Johnson says it would take a significant bid to capture the Irishman.

“We have got some ideas on how to shuffle the pack if you like and we shall just see if we can get them over the line on Monday,” said Johnson, whose side remain entrenched in the drop zone after failing to complete the double over Wigan.

“At the end of the day, we have loans that can be extended but one or two for sure will go back and we have to decide exactly what route we want to take.”

Nationally, several newspapers are reporting that manager Louis van Gaal will be sacked if Manchester United lose to Stoke on Boxing Day.

Manchester City are favourites to land outgoing Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, but they face competition from Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris St-Germain when he leaves the Bundesliga side at the end of the season, according to the Guardian.