Leeds boss upfront about transfer options

Leeds United Crest

It doesn't seem that Leeds United manager Brian McDermott needs a shot of truth serum.

At Thursday's press conference trumpeting the arrival of Cameron Stewart, a number of other issues quickly came to light and McDermott spoke candidly - perhaps more candidly than Leeds United fans are used to.

The arrival of Jimmy Kebe was said to be 'close' and was even announced as a done deal on the club's official website. The 29-year-old Mali international’s attributes as a player were lauded by the Leeds manager - 'pace to burn' being the key one.

It is a mouth-watering prospect to have Stewart and Kebe providing the ammunition for Smith and McCormack, and of course it doesn't end there - with 24-year-old Ashley Barnes set to swell our forward ranks too. 6 goals this season means Leeds will again compete with Burnley for his services, but one can't help but feel the momentum in the transfer market is with Leeds United now.

But it was McDermott's other comments that caught my attention the most.

The Leeds manager said that the club had 'enquiries about Varney and Poleon', and mentioned that he will be discussing Diouf's future on his imminent return to the UK, but there was no issue between them. McDermott said that he had 'nothing but respect' for the Senegalese striker.

Varney has less than a season left on his contract, and Poleon 18 months. Varney arguably saved Leeds’ championship status with his goals against Sheffield Wednesday last season, but has played only a bit part role this term. The player clearly possesses some pedigree, but has not flourished at Leeds since Warnock's purchase. If Poleon's leaves, then this will (hopefully) only be on a loan deal. The player is probably one of our more exciting young prospects - but who knows - could a £1m plus bid see Leeds’ resolve wane - and a youngster go out as a financial sacrificial lamb to accommodate McDermott's new signings ?

Diouf appears to have had a number of personal issues to resolve, and his focus may now move away from football. Not possessing the pace any longer to play out wide right, Diouf’s days do seem numbered, and his removal from the Leeds wage bill would provide some much needed respite on the club finances.

And what about Noel Hunt ? One Leeds fan Tweeted on his performance against Harrogate this week (we lost 3-1, God help us) that he didn't even realise Hunt was on the pitch! Hunt is a likeable character, but like Varney, just seems not to have clicked at Leeds. Signed from newly relegated Reading, his wages - like Diouf's - must not be inconsiderable. So with McCormack, Smith, Stewart, Kebe and maybe Barnes as our possible first choice frontline, one wonders whether Hunt's stay at Leeds will be short.

It's clear, though, that McDermott will continue to be forthright with us about the club's transfer options - and long may it continue.

Who do you think will be heading out the door at Leeds this January ?

image: © Paul Dantanus

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