GOSSIP: The rumour mill has continued to churn ahead of the transfer window opening next month. Picture: Getty Images.

Premier League transfer rumours: The latest from Leeds United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Southampton

Leeds United’s campaign has often been a case of square pegs in round holes but rather than looking for more specialists in the summer, Jesse Marsch hopes he can eke greater tactical flexibility out of them next season.

By Ben McKenna
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 10:35 am

Over his three-and-a-half-year tenure, Marsch’s predecessor Marcelo Bielsa constructed the squad in a way that relied on the adaptability of his players to allow him to keep a small group and for the club to afford greater quality over quantity. The Argentinian was sacked in February, after the transfer window closed.

Leeds had a bid for central midfielder Brenden Aaronson - ironically a former Marsch player - rejected by Red Bull Salzburg in January, and turned down the chance to sign Harry Winks and Donny van de Beek, leaving the squad as it was for the second half of the campaign, minus youngster Cody Drameh, who was loaned to Cardiff City.

Bielsa’s policy was hugely successful in the previous two seasons but injuries to key players have stretched the squad so much in 2021-22 that the Whites find themselves in a Premier League relegation battle in May.

The sole senior out-and-out centre-forward, Patrick Bamford, has only been able to start seven of 34 league games, Junior Firpo the solitary left-back 16 and holding midfielder Kalvin Phillips 14.

The indications from behind the scenes are not to expect a huge recruitment drive this summer. Asked if he would look to sign more specialists, Marsch hinted he might not.

“I like having a team that’s very flexible,” he replied. “We’ve played a lot of 4-2-3-1 so far, we started 4-2-2-2. I would like to have more flexibility with formations and players in position, so that we can have also flexibility in how we play with the ball and how we play against the ball.

“We haven’t been able to build that in enough because we’re still getting through principles and ideas of how to play the way we want to play, in a relegation fight where we have to fight for every point. It stunts the project, in certain ways, because we have to focus so heavily on results, which I never like to do.”

As Leeds and other clubs prepare for the final weeks of the season, here's the latest rumours from around the Premier League as the transfer window opens next month...

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