LEEDS UNITED head coach Steve Evans is confident the club will retain their remaining star players – but admits he won’t rest easy until the January transfer window finally slams shut.
United’s star right-back Sam Byram appears to be on his way to Everton after Leeds accepted a £3.7m bid for his services, while a host of Premier League clubs are known to be interested in England Under-19 midfielder Lewis Cook.
Young left-back Charlie Taylor also continues to impress on a weekly basis, but Evans insists that club chairman Massimo Cellino does not want to “break up the team” and only chose to sell Byram because of contractual reasons.
Byram turned down United’s offer of a new deal and is out of contract in the summer with Evans believing that United would have kept hold of the 22-year-old had his circumstances been different.
Evans realistically admits that every player “has a price” but feels Leeds will keep their remaining star players this month - unless a ridiculous offer is made for one of their prize assets.
“As I sit here, I don’t believe we are selling any other player in this window,” said Evans.
As I sit here, I don’t believe we are selling any other player in this window.Leeds United manager, Steve Evans
“I really don’t and if Sam’s contractual status had been different, I don’t think we’d have sold him either.
“I don’t think the president wants to break up a team, certainly of the local lads who it must mean so much to.
“I know what it means to Sam as I have sat and had many conversations with him.
“But the fans are no different to me and I’ve got the greatest concerns until that transfer window shuts because I do believe everyone has a price and I do believe it is always about the future welfare of the football club rather than one individual.
“But as we sit here now, unless somebody really comes in and makes a point with the money, I don’t think anyone else will leave. I hope not.
“I don’t control that and I didn’t control it at my previous club at Rotherham United - that lay with Tony Stewart. At Leeds United it lies with Mr Cellino.
“I have an input into perhaps the values of where I would see it and I didn’t just get a call late afternoon yesterday to say ‘Sam Byram’s been sold’, I got a call to say ‘this was an offer that reaching his values and the owner’s values so what was the thoughts?’
“I think when it reaches the values it’s very difficult for a head coach to be sitting there saying ‘well don’t do it’ because the football club business side of it is totally different entity to picking the team.
“But I hope to be able to have the squad going forward that we have got now and, hopefully, add to it.”