Transfer Deals: What Leeds United, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley and the rest of Yorkshire’s club need to do this summer

THE Lord’s Test, Wimbledon, British Grand Prix and, increasingly, the opening of the transfer window.

The first three are summer dates in the diaries for every self-respecting sports fan. The latter has also become highly significant in recent times.

The summer market officially opens today for Premier League and EFL clubs and closes at 11pm on Thursday, September 1. Several clubs across Yorkshire have already announced some key signings which will go through on July 1.

Last summer, the early risers were Bradford City, Huddersfield Town and Hull City. The Bantams have again been proactive ahead of the start of this window, while a much-needed statement has arrived from Leeds United.

DESTINATION UNKNOWN: Hull City's Keane Lewis-Potter, Huddersfield Town's Lewis O'Brien, Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips and Rotherham United's Michael Smith.

It is hard to think that less than three weeks ago, United’s Premier League future was on a knife-edge.

Fast forward to now and £32m has been committed to the dual signings of Brendon Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen from Red Bull Salzburg and the mood music has been transformed.

Leeds are one of around seven or eight clubs in England which can accurately be described as ‘24/7’. Every transfer rumour and snippet of information is gobbled up by a voracious and vast fanbase whose boundaries extend well beyond Yorkshire – morning, noon and night.

After this week’s signing of Kristensen, appetites will be briefly sated before a hankering for more. Spanish midfielder Marc Roca is one of several fresh names being linked, but it does not take a rocket scientist to deduce that a new frontline striker will be the major priority in the weeks ahead for Leeds.

OUTGOING? Sheffield United's Sander Berge Picture: Darren Staples / Sportimage

United are among just a select few White Rose clubs who can realistically expect major incoming summer transfer deals, with the game hardly awash with money outside of the top-flight.

For several others, the main factor might just be who is retained as opposed to signed when it comes to determining which clubs have had a good window come autumn.

For Leeds themselves, speculation surrounding Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha has already been frenzied. They will do well to have kept both by September and it will be as important as any other business.

As regards the three clubs who harboured hopes of returning to the Premier League last term in Huddersfield, Sheffield United and Middlesbrough, three events are likely to determine the extent of their summer manoeuvres.

Cardiff City's Will Vaulks (left) could be on his way back to South Yorkshire at Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

A well-run club whose wage bill was finally stabilised last season following relegation from the big time in 2018-19, Huddersfield will not waft the chequebook with abandon in their quest to go one better after their recent play-off final appearance.

Should a Lewis O’Brien or a Sorba Thomas leave, more funds would be put into the kitty in regards to the attacking targets that Town will now be focusing on. But at some cost.

As far as the Blades are concerned, what they will play with in the market will depend on whether Henry Mauriss’s proposed takeover happens or not.

Mauriss had a £115m offer accepted by Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud in January, but the deal has not yet gone through and the American’s period of exclusivity has expired. It’s a case of wait and see.

Nottingham Forest's Djed Spence (left) - on loan from Middlesbrough - and Brennan Johnson celebrate after winning the Championship play-off final against Huddersfield Town at Wembley Picture: John Walton/PA

As it stands, they must carry on regardless with the existing plan. CEO Stephen Bettis confirmed last week that one bid for a player had been lodged and another offer fielded to a free agent.

That offer for the latter may well have been Bristol City’s Callum O’Dowda, who has rebuffed rival interest from several second-tier clubs to join Cardiff City.

Sander Berge’s future will be under the microscope with the Blades probably also in need of another central defender. As for quite how you replace Morgan Gibbs-White, who has returned to Wolves, good luck with that.

Regarding Boro – linked with Coventry striker Viktor Gyokeres and Newcastle duo Dwight Gayle and Karl Darlow – spending will be determined by how much they receive for the in-demand Djed Spence, with a bidding war very much in their interests.

Across at Hull, it’s an open secret the Tigers will tap into the Turkish Superliga market. A plethora of names linked include Adama Traore and Ozan Tufan, while ex-Fulham midfielder Jean-Michael Seri is also a target.

But keeping hold of Keane Lewis-Potter, whose list of admirers in the top-flight is growing, would be as big as anything.

As it would for Rotherham United if they manage to keep the out-of-contract Michael Smith. It represents a huge ask, with the 30-year-old – yet to agree a new deal – wanted by several clubs ahead of signing a contract which will be likely to set him up for life.

One of those are Sheffield Wednesday, who also have an interest in ex-Millers favourite Will Vaulks.

While unlikely to spend much on transfer fees, the Owls can attract the sort of players required to get out of League One with their budget and stature.

Across at Barnsley, it promises to be a tough, complex window with a number of leading players including Callum Styles and Michal Helik keen to leave and the club eager to offload some signing flops from last summer.

The cost of relegation for the Reds is between £7m and £8m and few observers can say with any degree of confidence what their starting line-up will look like on the first day of 2022-23.