After a hectic summer of recruitment, January was always set to be a more reserved affair – so much so that the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Graham Smyth has suggested that it would be no surprise to see Marcelo Bielsa bring in no new players in the coming days.
That hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from cranking out gossip, however, and while the likelihood of incoming transfers may seem to be fading, there could still be room for an outgoing or two.
The ex-Barcelona prospect has endured a torrid time in recent years, and is very much a forgotten man at Elland Road.
The Spaniard is yet to make his senior bow for the Whites, and has spent the first half of this season on loan with Real Oviedo in La Liga 2.
Mujica has made five appearances in northwest Spain, but as yet has not started a match for his new club.
A lack of opportunity could see him sent out on loan to another side for the second half of the season, with hometown club Las Palmas said to be keen on offering him some sanctuary,
Whether a deal can be completed depends on whether the team from Gran Canaria can offload some of their deadwood before the end of the window.
For now, Mujica seems to be in limbo…
Elsewhere, former Scotland manager Alex McLeish has backed Marcelo Bielsa to use his encyclopaedic knowledge of South American football to bring in some cover in the centre of midfield.
Leeds can often look a little shorthanded when Kalvin Phillips is absent from the engine room, and they have lost three of the four Premier League matches that he has missed this term.
Pascal Struijk has often been called upon the deputise for the England international, but the Dutchman lacks some of the vision and defensive awareness of his teammate – a point illustrated by the fact that he made 4.27 fewer long passes than Phillips’ season average against Brighton on Saturday afternoon, while his duel win percentage was 14% lower than the 25-year-old’s last outing in the centre of the park, as per Wyscout.
With that in mind, another body in midfield wouldn’t go amiss for the Whites, and McLeish is convinced that Bielsa will know just where to look.
He told Football Insider: “Bielsa and his cohorts would probably know the South American market, for instance, and maybe bring an experienced player in who maybe can’t play every week but he has a brilliant marshalling of the field, who just knows where to go.
“Someone who gets on the ball easy and you think: ‘Go press him,’ but it’s just the knowledge, and possibly Bielsa needs somebody like that, a guy that he can trust, from the South American market, to play in that kind of role.”
We’ve also gathered some of the best of the rest of the Premier League transfer rumours doing the rounds this lunchtime: