Leeds United chief Grayson refuses to pay over odds

SIMON GRAYSON has vowed Leeds United will not be held to ransom during the transfer window.

The Elland Road club are keen to strengthen this month with Grayson, who was yesterday named the Championship's Manager of the Month for December, making the capture of a central midfielder a priority.

Despite having identified a number of targets, United are yet to make a signing and Grayson admits it is unlikely any progress will be made before tomorrow's home game against Scunthorpe United. He said: "It is a case of trying to get the right players at the right price. If you are in a position of wanting to strengthen then you have a budget that is acceptable to spend.

"If other clubs want to hold you to ransom then you go and spend that money elsewhere. We won't be held to ransom with any player we want to buy or loan.

"We are a big club and there are a lot of players who want to play for our club. There are a lot of things going for us.

"What we have to do is make sure we go for those who will be here for the right reasons. We also need them to fit in with the squad. We have a great team spirit and any new arrival has to fit in with that."

United decided not to extend Amdy Faye's contract earlier this week and with Neil Kilkenny on international duty at the Asia Cup in Qatar it means Grayson's midfield options have been depleted.

The Leeds manager said: "It is an area we need to strengthen with Amdy having left and Neil Kilkenny being away with Australia. We would like to have someone in for the weekend but I would think that is highly unlikely.

"The next game after Scunthorpe is Arsenal and you have to go with the same players who were registered for the first Cup game.

"Realistically, it might happen before the Portsmouth game."

On releasing Faye, Grayson added: "His contract finished last weekend so we had to make a decision.

"He was not getting as much football as he wanted at 33 and that is why we let him go. We felt we could go our separate ways."

Grayson claimed the Championship's managerial award after steering his side to three wins and two draws in December.

It is his first award since moving to Elland Road shortly before Christmas, 2008.

He has, however, been nominated seven previous times before finally being recognised by the judges.

Grayson said: "A lot of work has gone in by my players and the rest of the staff."