Leeds United boss Daniel Farke only interested in signing players who are 'the full package' + a firm message to other clubs

DANIEL FARKE has stressed he is only interested in bringing in players who possess the ‘whole package’ in the January transfer window, with personality and character prized as much as ability.

Leeds, who could move within two points of second-placed Ipswich Town if they beat their East Anglian rivals Norwich City at Elland Road tonight, are yet to make a strike in the winter market, but Farke remains circumspect.

He is mindful that Leeds are light on the right-hand side of defence following the loan departure of Luke Ayling to Middlesbrough and Djed Spence’s loan return to Tottenham.

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But with the clock ticking, he will not be pushed into adding to his ranks, unless he is totally convinced.

Leeds United manager Daniel Farke. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.Leeds United manager Daniel Farke. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.
Leeds United manager Daniel Farke. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

Farke said: "Everyone is aware we have a few positions where we could do with some additions because we are not training at the moment with too many numbers.

"It’s a pretty small and tight group, but the advantage of a tight group is that everyone is needed and sometimes it can be beneficial for the spirit and the unity, this is what you sense at the moment.

"I would rather be a bit more careful to bring the right character in because we don’t want to risk our spirit, our unity and our togetherness in the dressing room, So it has to be the full package for the player, with potential and who is affordable.

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"We are ambitious as a club, but there are strict rules on what we can do from a financial point of view and what not, but also this personality and character has to fit to the group and even more to Leeds United.”

Keeping what you have got, in terms of leading talents, remains every bit as important to Farke.

Leeds have protected themselves by tying star asset Archie Gray into a long-term deal – in a clear message to would-be suitors - and Farke says he has no inclination whatsoever to be tempted to trade any of his leading lights - with the club also steadfast in that regard.

Willy Gnonto has been linked with several clubs, including West Ham.

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On whether he has fielded interest in his top players this month, he continued: "Yes, it’s how football works. It’s crazy, especially once the window opens.

"On the first of January after a few months of having a closed window especially, the agents and everyone who is connected; they are over excited that they are allowed to use their mobile again and try to give you calls and send you emails again.

"It was also important that we sent a pretty clear message now that we are ambitious, we want to keep our best players and we are not tempted at all to become weaker as a squad.

"Definitely we will keep our key players and we sent this message out.

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"Once is not enough and you have to send this message out quite often. but the more often you reply with ‘no interest’; to send someone away at some point, everyone gets the message.

"I know the last days everyone will try again last chance, but we are quite firm in our stance that we will stay firm and none of our key players will leave.”

Farke says Gnonto could be involved from the bench this evening after a slight injury issue and expects him to be in contention for a start in Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Plymouth Argyle.