No January departures at Leeds United, insists Garry Monk

GARRY MONK last night insisted no key players will be leaving Leeds United during the January transfer window.

Chris Wood celebrates his second goal with Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe.

The Elland Road club kicked off 2017 with a derby victory over Rotherham United that ended with the home fans in a 33,397 crowd chanting their belief that this is the year that will bring promotion back to the Premier League.

Monk is not the sort of manager to publicly make such a statement but he recognises that United, five points clear of the chasing pack in the play-off race, are handily placed.

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It is why the United chief has issued a hands-off warning to any potential suitors for the likes of top scorer Chris Wood and Charlie Taylor, who is into the final six months of his existing deal and the subject of interest from several Premier League clubs.

“They will all be kept,” said Monk when asked if he was concerned about any of his key players being lured away now the window is open.

“This is Leeds United, it is a big club. We don’t have to sell anyone and we won’t be selling anyone. There was a promise made at the start of the season, that we are here to keep our players and build something. There will be no-one leaving in this window.

“It will only be incomings (this month). It is only one or two (signings) that we need to give this group the help it needs. January is not a window to do a lot of business in.”

Pressed further on Taylor, who submitted a transfer request last July that was rejected by Leeds, Monk added: “Charlie has been fantastic.

“Those things are out of a player’s hands. His job is to focus on football and he has done that very well. The club went as far as making a statement (last July) and we had a promise between myself and the owner,

“We spoke very honestly that players weren’t going to leave. Charlie is an important player for us.”

Two goals from Chris Wood and a Kyle Bartley header settled the derby in Leeds’s favour but it was Rotherham who were the better side in the first half. An inability to score when on top, however, cost the Millers dear and the South Yorkshire club are now 12 points adrift of safety.

Rotherham are also searching for a new manager following Kenny Jackett’s shock resignation in late November and Paul Warne, in temporary charge for the last seven games, does not believe an appointment is imminent.

“I am no nearer or further away than previously,” said Warne when asked if there had been any indication as to when he will be able to hand on the reins.

“The chairman (Tony Stewart) asked me to keep going until I am told otherwise. That could be 10 minutes or 10 years.

“I would like to get a bit of sleep back in my life, if I am honest. But there is no exciting news that Ron Atkinson is pulling into the car park or anything like that. I do check for cars when I pull up to work every day. But I haven’t seen a big beast yet!”

The Millers look doomed at the foot of the Championship. Just three league wins from 24 games tells its own story but Warne insists that any recruitment in the January window will not be done with a possible return to the third tier in mind.

He added: “The chairman said regarding signings, ‘Don’t do ones for next season, do them for this season’. I am still trying to sign Championship players.

“Obviously, when you are adrift it becomes harder. There are a lot of games left and a lot of points to play for.

“I am working with the recruitment guy at the club to try and bring players in who I believe will suit our club.

“I have been here so long that whoever comes in, I would like to think I can help him. I know what personalities work at the club.”

Rotherham’s miserable return of just one point from a possible 36 is a big factor in why the club props up the table. It could, though, have been different yesterday with Izzy Brown and Tom Adeyemi wasting gilt-edged opportunities.

“We were well aware of Leeds’s home record and what a good run they are on but I didn’t want to come here and park the bus,” added Warne. “I set the team up as positive as I could and am disappointed we didn’t get something.”