Neil Redfearn admitted that the arrival of new players at Leeds United was entirely in the club’s hands and “not my call” after a week of mixed messages from Elland Road.
Redfearn has been pushing the club to make additions to his squad, claiming injuries have left his resources at “full stretch”, but remarks in which he said he was “hopeful” of landing loan signings appeared to be contradicted by chairman Andrew Umbers on Tuesday.
Umbers – appointed to the head of the board at Leeds after Massimo Cellino’s disqualification – said Redfearn had a “good and large” group of players at his disposal and indicated that United were prepared to wait until the summer before making any moves in the transfer market.
Redfearn, whose side are virtually safe from relegation on 44 points, gave what he called a “refreshed list” of options to Umbers after speaking with him at Thorp Arch on Tuesday.
Umbers’ remarks later that day seemed to rule out imminent arrivals, however, and speaking after Leeds’ 2-1 win over Ipswich Town on Wednesday night, Redfearn said: “I’m only part of the process.
“I was asked to come up with a list of players who might help, who are better than what we’ve got. I’ve refreshed the list, come up with a new one, and I’ve given it to Andrew. But it’s up to them (the club) whether we bring players in or we don’t. That’s not my call.”
Redfearn appeared more hopeful about resisting any interest in the more valuable members of Leeds’ squad when the Championship season ends.
United’s improved form since the turn of the year has been driven by several key players, not least the four products of their academy – Alex Mowatt, Charlie Taylor, Lewis Cook and Sam Byram.
Mowatt and Taylor are under contract with Leeds until 2017 but the deals tying Cook and Byram to the club expire in 2016 and neither player has signed an extension.
Redfearn said: “There’ll be interest in them but the message from the president (Cellino) has always been that we’re building. If you’re building you keep your better players.
“I trust what he says, he’s never told me differently, so I’d have thought they’ll be staying.”