1) Leeds looking to tie up deal for Zan Benedicic
Leeds United are aiming to tie up a deal for AC Milan midfielder Zan Benedicic in the near future, with his agent revealing the clubs are in talks.
The Slovenian midfielder was the subject of Leeds interest earlier in the summer, but on that occasion a deal was not struck.
However, a transfer looks closer to completion now – with the Whites keen to take Bendecic on loan for a season and provide him with regular first-team football.
The 18-year-old’s agent, Amir Ruznic, has confirmed that the Italian giants are speaking with Leeds over the potential switch, too, saying: “The clubs are talking. He is back from the States and I hope to have news in the next few days.”
2) Hockaday comments after friendly win
David Hockaday believes that his Leeds United squad will surprise people this season, after he was impressed by what he saw in the Whites 2-1 win friendly win over Swindon Town last night.
Leeds were criticised for their performance in a pre-season clash over the weekend, where they drew with Chesterfield, but were much improved yesterday – with goals from Steve Morison and Rodolph Austin providing victory.
It has filled new boss, Hockaday, with optimism for the upcoming season, too, and he is confident that his squad has enough quality to spring a surprise.
“I honestly think we’ll surprise a few people. People will be surprised by how good some of the players in my squad are. I’m the eternal optimist but even I didn’t expect what I’m getting from some of them,” he said to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“There’s been so much flak and negativity and all I want to do is to get us playing properly, honestly and positively. I want some positivity round here. The way we play is our way, the Leeds way.”
The former Forest Green manager was also on hand to talk about rumours linking Tom Lees with a move away from the club.
Lees has been rumoured to be of interest to Sheffield Wednesday and Hockaday says he will be ‘delighted’ for him if he completes a move to Leeds’ Yorkshire rivals.
“I’m hearing a lot of things about Tom. I’m not so sure where we are so let’s see what tomorrow brings,” he said.
“If he stays then I’ll be delighted. If he goes and it’s right for him to go then I’ll be delighted for him. But he’s Leeds through and through.”
3) Sheffield United will make further John Brayford enquiry
Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough is stepping up his chase of Cardiff City defender John Brayford.
The Blades lost Harry Maguire to Hull City this week and are now looking for defensive recruits to ensure that his loss is not too costly and one of his targets has been revealed as Brayford.
The defender spent part of last season on loan at Bramall Lane, where he impressed, and has been on Clough’s wishlist for much of the summer so far.
Originally Cardiff seemed reluctant to sell, but the Sheffield United boss confirmed his side would see if a deal could be achieved again later this week.
“We’ll make a further enquiry about it this week but it might not be about finance,” he said.
4) Championship duo chase Adam Clayton
Clayton has impressed in the heart of the Terriers midfield over the last few seasons and has attracted the attention of the Championship duo, but they may find it hard to prise the former Leeds man away from Huddersfield.
Mark Robins is a known admirer and wants to keep him as part of his squad. He has already rejected offers for the 25-year-old from ‘Boro during this transfer window and is understood to be desperate to keep Clayton at the John Smith’s Stadium.
However, the energetic central midfielder’s contract at Huddersfield expires in 12 months, putting him in a position of power, and if a contract extension cannot be agreed the Yorkshire outfit may be forced to cash in.
5) Luke Berry can’t wait to get started at Barnsley
Barnsley new boy Luke Berry says that he is excited to join up with his new teammates after completing a move from Cambridge United yesterday.
The central midfielder has been a revelation in the non-league and now feels he is ready to make the step up to League One football with the Tykes.
He said: “I first heard of interest a few weeks ago and I’m delighted the move has all gone through.
“I think I can step up and I’m excited to play with better players.”