Tues 30th of June . Wood to sign in next 48 hours As Leeds step closer to unveiling Chris Wood in the next 48 hours, Five things you need to know about seven-figure Leeds United target Chris Wood LEEDS UNITED are understood to be close to signing Leicester City striker Chris Wood for a seven-figure fee, with the whole package believed to be in the region of £3m. The Auckland-born forward, 23, has played for a number of clubs already in his time in England, including West Brom, Leicester, Birmingham City and Millwall. The Kiwi international has previously had a loan spell in Yorkshire at Barnsley. Here’s five things to know about the striker. 1: Wood started his youth and senior career with Cambridge FC in the Northern League of New Zealand before joining Waikato FC ahead of joining Hamilton Wanderers. He joined the Baggies in 2009. His elder sister Chelsey, who studied medicine at university, represented New Zealand at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile and the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany. His New Zealand-born father Grant played local league football in rugby-union obsessed Auckland, while his British-born mother Julie hails from South London. 2: Wood made his West Brom debut at the age of just 17. His appearance as a substitute against Portsmouth at Fratton Park in April 2009 made him Albion’s youngest league player since a 16-year-old Bobby Hope in 1960. In the process, he became just the fifth New Zealander to play in the top-flight. 3: At the end of the 2008–09 season, Wood agreed his first professional contract, signing a two-year deal at Albion, with a further two-year option. He then signed a new three-and-a-half year contract in December 2009, with West Brom having the option to extend that for a further year. He scored his first professional goal with a 25-yarder in a 3-1 win over Doncaster Rovers in September 2009. 4: Early on in the 2010-11 season, Wood had a short spell at Barnsley before a more rewarding loan spell at Brighton after joining in November 2010, hitting nine goals up to the end of that campaign. The following season, he hit 11 goals during a productive half-season loan at Birmingham, including his first hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Millwall in September 2011. After a spell at Bristol City in the second half of 2011-12, he linked up with the Lions and hit 11 goals before being transferred permanently to Leicester for £2m on New Year’s Day 2013. 5: Wood scored twice on his Foxes debut in a 6-1 routing of Huddersfield Town and soon fired a treble in the 4-0 FA Cup win at Bristol City. All told, in the 2012-13 campaign, he hit 22 goals in separate spells at Millwall and Leicester. He scored Leicester’s opening top-flight goal in the 2-2 draw with Everton on the first day of last season, but ended the campaign on loan at Ipswich Town.

Tues 30th of June New Leeds Shirt pic leaked. Plain white retro look, blue trims and apparently no sponsors? Leeds United’s home kit for 2015/16 from Kappa got unofficially leaked on the internet today and the response has been majorly positive with the fans. Check out leaks below!


Can Leeds gazzump Wolves and pay their biggest fee for a player since the arrival of Nick Barmby a lifetime ago

Monday 29th of June. United and Wolves have bids accpted for Wood  LEEDS UNITED and Championship rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers are locked in a two-way fight to sign Leicester City striker Chris Wood. The New Zealand-international forward is expected to leave the Foxes, having fallen down the pecking order at the Kingpower Stadium. Leeds are understood to have tabled a seven-figure bid to Leicester late last week, which was accepted. After seeing an initial offer rebuffed by Leicester, Wolves have come back in with a second offer, which has also been accepted by the East Midlands outfit. Wood is considering his options with personal terms thought to be the biggest obstacle Leeds need to overcome to successfully win the race for his services. The 23-year-old’s days at Leicester appear to be numbered with Foxes keen to recoup a seven-figure fee of £2.5m for his services – having just spent £7m on Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki, who has arrived at the club from Bundesliga side Mainz. The likes of Leonardo Ulloa and Jamie Vardy are also in front of Wood in the queue for a starting spot. QPR have also been credited with an interest in Wood, who scored on the opening day of last season for Leicester in a 2-2 draw with Everton. But that was his only strike in the top-flight in 2014-15 and he spent a eight-match spell at Ipswich in the final months of last season, failing to find the net for the Tractor Boys. Wood, linked with Leeds in the past, has also previously had loan spells at Millwall, Bristol City, Birmingham City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Barnsley, after starting his career at West Brom. He previously spent a successful temporary spell under Wolves boss Kenny Jackett at Millwall in the first half of the 2012-13 season, netting 11 goals for the Lions. Wood, who has a year left on his Leicester contract, struck a late winner in Millwall’s 1-0 success over Leeds at the New Den in November 2012

Mon June 29th. Glover has sown the seeds to bear fruit United – whose players officially start pre-season training at Thorp Arch today – have already brought in three players, with last week’s arrival of defender Sol Bamba following on from the additions of young striker Lee Erwin and rookie goalkeeper Charlie Horton. Leeds have been linked with a host of other players, including Leicester duo Chris Wood and Liam Moore and Birmingham City forward Clayton Donaldson with Glover working in tandem with head coach Uwe Rosler and owner Massimo Cellino to augment the club’s squad numbers. A plethora of signings arrived from the continent in the 2014 close season with former sporting director Nicola Salerno proving an influential figure in bringing many players to Leeds, particularly from Italy. But Glover, who previously served as recruitment head at West Ham under Sam Allardyce, says that the emphasis 12 months on is on bringing in recruits from this country and raiding the domestic market.He said: I think the idea is to get that British core right. “We have got some very good, talented players at Leeds, some of the best you are likely to have. “It is important that we get the balance right in the dressing room and get the right type of characters to ultimately get this team out of the Championship and into the Premier League where it belongs. “That is the plan. Carrying it out will be interesting, but that’s the aim – to have a British core. Although we won’t rule out foreign players. “I had a great relationship with Sam and it will be nice to develop a similar relationship with Uwe (Rosler) now. “I think the idea is that we will work on things together in terms of potential targets. Obviously, Uwe will have his say as it is his team and he is the one who will pick the side at the end of the day. “My role will be to come up with targets and potential players and manage that side of it and present the case to the manager as to what we think we can do and then it is a case of trying to make the finances fit. “It is very much a team effort.” Glover studied at Leeds Metropolitan University, where he completed a physical education degree before entering into teaching. After working at Blackburn Rovers’ academy, Glover became a full-time member of the staff at Ewood Park and the club’s chief scout under Allardyce and later accompanied him to West Ham. Glover is confident that the groundwork being put in will bear fruit in the coming weeks. He added: It is an unusual time for me as half the managers in the country have been on holiday and people aren’t where they need to be. But it’s good to get started. “You do a lot of work now and I am full at it and there’s a lot of work going on. But it’s hard to get things over the line now because other clubs don’t work the same and a lot of managers have been on holiday and want to get players back in at pre-season to see where they are up to before they start making any decisions and buying and selling players. “It is important that you are all on the same page in what you are trying to achieve and you know your restraints in terms of budgets and then you can work accordingly. “It is important we work together and get the right type of players in for the right finance.”


Chris Wood – Good striker if Cornman would release the funds

Monday Jun 29th United chase Chris Wood – Source HITC Leeds United are closing in on a deal to sign Leicester City’s Chris Wood, according to BBC West Yorkshire. New Zealand striker Wood found opportunities limited for the Premier League side last season and is surplus to requirements. Leicester last week signed Japanese international forward Shinji Okazaki. Wood would become Leeds’ fourth permanent signing, following Sol Bamba, Lee Erwin and Charlie Taylor. HITC reported Leeds interest in Wood earlier this month, although at the time it was considered Wolves were the Championship side in the lead for his signature. Wood is still just 23-years-old and could expect to become a regular starter at Leeds, in a division in which he has a proven goalscoring record. £2.5 million would be a high investment in a player by Leeds standards in recent seasons and be a major statement of intent by owner Massimo Cellino of his commitment to the club securing promotion next season.


Avenatti – another risky Italian – No thanks !


Monday June 29th. Leeds chase Avenatti – The Star UWE ROSLER is poised to make Uruguayan striker Felipe Avenatti his second signing as Leeds boss. The Championship side are set to launch a £3m bid for the Ternana frontman after missing out on Chris Wood and Clayton Donaldson. Leicester striker Wood is closing on a £1m switch to Wolves, while Birmingham are not prepared to sell Donaldson. Free agent Nicky Maynard has also been looked at, but he’s set to join Nottingham Forest instead. Avenatti bagged 13 goals in 39 games in Serie B last season, catching the eye of United, Aston Villa and Italian outfit Cagliari. The 22-year-old started his career with River Plate before joining Ternana in 2013. Ivory Coast international Sol Bamba was Rosler’s first Leeds signing when he made his loan move permanent last week. Friday June 26th Juve star wanted at Elland Road ITALIAN international Simone Pepe is understood to be a target for Leeds United after being released by Juventus. But the 31-year-old winger will also attract the attention of several top Serie A sides after collecting four league title winners’ medals with the ‘Old Lady.’ Pepe started out at home-town club Roma but never played in the first team. He has shone in Serie A for 10 seasons, mainly for Udinese and Juventus, scoring 29 goals in 219 games despite being hindered by injuries in recent seasons. He has been linked with the Elland Road club since April, after Leeds owner Massimo Cellino said he was interested in bringing a series of Italian-based players to the club. Ahead of his release Pepe, who appeared for Italy at the 2010 World Cup, said: “I have spent five fantastic years in amazing company at Juventus. I have given my heart and soul. Juventus have understood me and will keep an incredible feeling forever.” Pepe joined Udinese midway through the 2005–06 campaign in a co-ownership deal, for €500,000, along with Salvatore Masiello and Nicola Santoni as part of the David Di Michele deal for €5.35m. Juventus signed Pepe on loan for €2.6m in June, 2010, with the option to sign him permanently for €7.5m in July. He scored five times in 30 matches in his first season in Turin. If Leeds are unable to attract Pepe to England then a player closer to home could be on their radar. With United striker Billy Sharp being linked with a return to Sheffield United, Leeds are likely to insist that Scotland Under-21 winger Jamie Murphy is part of any package. Murphy has scored 17 goals in 94 appearances since joining the Blades from Motherwell in 2013 and signed a new contract in January, keeping him at Bramall lane until the summer of 2017. Sheffield-born Sharp has scored just five goals in 33 appearances for Leeds since signing a two-year deal from Southampton in August, 2014. The 29-year-old began his career with the Blades and returned from Scunthorpe in 2007, scoring eight goals in 51 games before netting 40 in 82 appearaqnces for Doncaster Rovers ahead of a £1.8m move to Southampton in January, 2012.


Welcome back Sol – a really good signing

Weds June 24th. Bamba signs permanent deal We are delighted to confirm that defender Sol Bamba has returned to the club on a permanent basis after an undisclosed fee was agreed with Italian side Palermo. Bamba, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Elland Road, has penned a two-year deal with the option of a third as Uwe Rosler’s squad continues to take shape for the new campaign. The 30-year-old becomes United’s third summer signing following the recent arrivals of goalkeeper Charlie Horton from Cardiff City and striker Lee Erwin from Motherwell. Bamba made a big impression during his 19 appearances while on loan in 2014/15, with the Ivory Coast international becoming a regular fixture in defence and captaining the side on several occasions. The former Leicester City centre-back arrived during the January transfer window and played a key role in the upsurge in form which followed the turn of the year. Bamba was instrumental in leading United to impressive victories and clean sheets away to Reading, Middlesbrough and Fulham, with his solitary goal in Leeds colours so far coming in the latter. He made the switch to West Yorkshire in a bid to find regular football having been limited to just one appearance with Palermo earlier in the season. Bamba had only moved to Italy last summer following two successful years with Turkish outfit Trabzonspor. His career, which began at PSG, has also seen previous spells in British football with Dunfermline, Hibernian and Leicester. Following the end of his initial loan stint at Leeds, the defender made it abundantly clear that he was hoping to stay permanently and has now signed on the dotted line to end weeks of speculation. Weds 24th of June. Agreement reached with departing Salerno - We can confirm that a mutual agreement has been reached for Nicola Salerno to depart the club from his role as Sporting Director. Leeds United would like to thank Nicola for his efforts over the past year and he will always be welcomed back to Elland Road in the future. The Fixtures are out for the Championship 2015/16 August 08/08/2015 Burnley 15/08/2015 Reading 18/08/2015 Bristol City   22/08/2015 Sheffield Wednesday 29/08/2015 Derby County September 12/09/2015 Brentford 15/09/2015 Ipswich Town 19/09/2015 Milton Keynes Dons   26/09/2015 Middlesbrough October 03/10/2015 Birmingham City 17/10/2015 Brighton & HA 20/10/2015 Fulham   24/10/2015 Bolton Wanderers   31/10/2015 Blackburn Rovers November 03/11/2015 Cardiff City 07/11/2015 Huddersfield Town 21/11/2015 Rotherham United 28/11/2015 Queens Park Rangers December 05/12/2015 Hull City 12/12/2015 Charlton Athletic 15/12/2015 Wolverhampton W’drs 19/12/2015 Preston North End 26/12/2015 Nottingham Forest 28/12/2015 Derby County January 02/01/2016 Milton Keynes Dons 12/01/2016 Ipswich Town   16/01/2016 Sheffield Wednesday 23/01/2016 Bristol City 30/01/2016 Brentford February 06/02/2016 Nottingham Forest 13/02/2016 Middlesbrough 20/02/2016 Birmingham City 23/02/2016 Fulham 27/02/2016 Brighton & HA March 05/03/2016 Bolton Wanderers 08/03/2016 Cardiff City   12/03/2016 Blackburn Rovers   19/03/2016 Huddersfield Town April 02/04/2016 Rotherham United   05/04/2016 Queens Park Rangers 09/04/2016 Burnley 16/04/2016 Reading 19/04/2016 Wolverhampton W’drs 23/04/2016 Hull City 30/04/2016 Charlton Athletic May 07/05/2016 Preston North End

  Weds June 17th Whites close in on Bamba SOL Bamba is close to completing a permanent move to Leeds United, Adam Pearson has revealed. The 30-year-old defender, integral during United’s renaissance in the second half of last term, is likely to pen to paper shortly, with other signings also in the pipeline during the close season, according to executive director Pearson. Bamba moved to United on loan from Serie A side Palermo in January, with a view to a permanent deal – with his days at the Sicilian club all but numbered. The big centre-half is one year into a three-year deal at Palermo but only made one league appearance since joining from Trabzonspor last August and Palermo are willing to allow him to leave. The former Leicester City defender made 19 appearances for Leeds last term and despite causing controversy after openly criticising Leeds owner Massimo Cellino towards the end of season for sacking assistant manager Steve Thompson and his treatment of former head coach Neil Redfearn, the club tabled recently tabled a new offer.This came after reports that Bamba had rejected an offer to make his temporary move permanent, but all parties have remained in talks since. Pearson said: “The player is really keen to come. So if at the end of the day, if the player is keen to come and the terms are agreed, then the final knockings and thrashings between clubs usually get sorted out. “Usually what scuppers a deal is an agent or a player and in this case, they are keen to come here. “We are certainly keen to have him back here, so with that commitment, I would think it will probably happen.” Pearson also confirmed that Leeds’ new head of recruitment Martin Glover and head coach Uwe Rosler are working hard on several other deals, following the club’s capture of ex-Motherwell striker Lee Erwin and former Cardiff City goalkeeper Charlie Horton. On the potential for other signings in the near future, Pearson said: “They are in the pipeline. “There are discussions and what ifs going on across the board with various players and agents and I am sure those signings will start to come through in the coming weeks. “It’s a good solid start and it needs three to four more good proven players to come through and then I think we have a good chance of competing.” Glover’s arrival as recruitment supremo after leaving an identical role at West Ham is the latest backroom addition at Elland Road following the appointment of club secretary Stuart Hayton and assistant-manager Rob Kelly. And Pearson believes that the addition of Glover is further good news for the club with the feel-good factor growing at Leeds. Pearson added: “Martyn has had extensive experience at West Ham and Blackburn before, predominantly with Sam Allardyce, but working as a buffer between management and board level. “He’s got great experience and also . “He is a really strong addition to the team and him and Uwe are working hard as we speak.” Meanwhile, United have been handed their third Capital One Cup trip to Doncaster Rovers in four years following yesterday’s first-round draw. The derby tie sees Uwe Rosler handed a reunion with former Manchester City team-mate and ex-Leeds loanee Paul Dickov, boss at Doncaster and his assistant Brian Horton, who bought the German over to English football with City in 1994. The Keepmoat Stadium clash will also be a sentimental one for Doncaster-born Alex Mowatt, who made his debut at his hometown club in a second-round tie there in August 2013 which Leeds won 3-1, while Billy Sharp also returns to his old side. Leeds also triumphed in a round two clash in Doncaster in August 2011, with Ramon Nunez netting twice in a 2-1 success. United, whose Championship fixtures for next season will be published this morning, have never been beaten in six outings at the Keepmoat, winning five and you have to go back to August 1951 for the last time Doncaster beat Leeds on home soil. The away trip is the first time in six years that Leeds have been handed a first-round away assignment in the competition, with the Whites having never lost at the first round stage in the competition’s 54-year history. Leeds’ tie at Rovers will be played in the week commencing August 10, 2015.

Tues June 16th. Whites announce 5 year kit deal with Kappa LEEDS UNITED executive director Adam Pearson has hailed the club’s new kit deal with Italian sportswear giants Kappa – which he says is the biggest in the Championship. The five-year deal will see Kappa supply kits and training wear for the first team, development squad and all Academy age groups alongside providing a variety of leisure wear. The new home kit, a traditional blank all-white design with no major shirt sponsor, will be unveiled at an exclusive event for season-ticket holders on July 9 and worn in the friendly at Harrogate Town the following evening. It will be officially launched at the Elland Road superstore on July 11. Pearson said: “It is a renowned brand who have a great history at home and abroad and they understand the UK market and are keen to expand back in this market and have chosen a partner who can give them the volume of sales with the potential to go back into the Premier League and much further. “The financials (details) will stay between both parties. But it is an extremely competitive deal for the club – obviously by far the biggest in the Championship and we sit comparably with a lot of Premier League clubs.” Mark Ward, manager director of Kappa UK and Ireland added: “We are very pleased and honoured to be associated with the club and really looking forward to the relaunch of the Kappa brand back into the UK. “We came to the table quite late, but are very excited about the opportunity. With a club like Leeds United with the background and history and probably looking forward, the potential for next season, we were so excited and privileged to us Leeds as our key club as we launch back in the.The layered deal will see Leeds rewarded financially for the amount of sales of merchandise they record and Pearson is confident that the club will deliver in that respect”. He added: “It’s a big kit deal and it needs the club to work hard at it to maximum it. We have to work hard for the money in this instance and it will kick everybody on their toes which is good and it is certainly a good brand for us to be associated. “It certainly puts us on a good commercial footing. With the supporters here, they buy more shirts than any other club by a country mile in this league. “Every time, I get the statistics on media or shirts or whatever, it is quite staggering. “Design-wise and aesthetically, I think the supporters will be pleased with the shirt.” Pearson said that the club’s legal team were dealing with former kit supplier Macron and sponsor Enterprise Insurance and hopeful of a positive outcome. Back in April, the club’s latest accounts revealed that the club were facing a legal claim of around £5m from Macron after United’s results for the 2013-14 financial year said they were in “contractual dispute” with the Italian sportswear firm, who had supplied their kit since 2008.Macron’s deal with Leeds – a six-year agreement signed in 2010 – was due to end next summer. Pearson added: It does need sorting out and obviously, when relationships come to an end, there’s always a lot of loose ends to tie up and there is in these instances.“ But hopefully we can do it behind closed doors and out of the press and focus on the new relationship and tie things up in a professional manner.”


Liam Moore would be a decent addition


Darikawa may be arriving from Chesterfield but does this mean that we are selling Byram ?

Sun June 14th Leeds step up interest in Darikawa LEEDS UNITED are understood to have stepped up their interest in Chesterfield defender Tendayi Darikwa. The highly-rated full-back, 23, who can play at right-back or on the right hand side of midfield has a year left on his Spireites deal and Leeds are understood to have held talks with the Derbyshire club. Nottingham-born Darikwa picked up a number of seasonal awards at Chesterfield last term – including the Player Of The Year award and Players’ Player Of The Season accolade. He was an ever-present in the league in 2014-15, with his consistent performances having caught the eye of a number of higher division clubs, including Leeds who have followed up their initial interest. The addition of 6ft 2in Darikwa would potentially boost Leeds’ options down the right, where they have little cover. The long-term future of right-sided defender Sam Byram is also uncertain, with the 21-year-old linked with several Premier League sides already this summer, including Sunderland, Newcastle United and Liverpool. Southampton also saw a bid turned down last August for Byram, whose contract at Leeds runs out in April 2016. Meanwhile, the agent of Uruguay international defender Alvaro Pereira has claimed that Leeds are interested in signing him. The talented Inter Milan full-back has been on loan with Argentinian side Estudiantes, but his representative Alfredo Reguira says that the 29-year-old is open to a return to Europe. Speaking in the Italian press, Reguira said: “Leeds? It’s true of their interest.” “He is well in (Estudiantes) La Plata but he is a professional and will evaluate solutions also with European clubs. “He would return to Europe willingly.”

Sun Jun 14th Whites target Moore leaves door open for loan move to ChampionshipThe 22-year-old is currently down the pecking order at the King Power Stadium last season, with Marcin Wasilewski, Wes Morgan and Robert Huth in front of him and another centre-back in Gareth McAuley also on the wish-list of manager Nigel Pearson. oore still his two years left on his Foxes deal and is part of the long-term picture, but a move to the Championship to get some extended game-time in 2015-16 is a possibility and something he would entertain. Moore is well known to Uwe Rosler, who took him on loan during his time at Brentford in 2012-13, with the Bees also taking him for a brief temporary spell last term. Leeds are understood to be one of several clubs who have enquired about the availability of Moore, with Leicester only likely to accede to a loan move, not a full-time one. Moore, on business with England Under-21s at the forthcoming European Championships in the Czech Republic – with Gareth Southgate’s side finishing their preparations with a 1-0 win over Belarus at Oakwell last night – “My aim, since the season finished, has been to focus 100 per cent on these Euros. I really want to play my part. Then I will assess the situation. It will be something I speak to the management at Leicester about – what is best for me. “I am a player who needs to be playing. I know it sounds silly, but for me to get to the point I want to be in my career, it has to be playing regularly just to get that experience. “The Championship is a really good standard and it is something that is in the back of my mind. “You can only learn so much on the training pitch. I am eager to learn so if that means more game-time in the Championship, then so be it.” Leeds are understood to be in ongoing discussions with League One outfit Chesterfield regarding another possible target, Chesterfield full-back/winger Tendayi Darikwa


Lee Erwin becomes signing number two and looks like a decent addition

Weds 10th of June. Erwin excited to be at Leeds New signing Lee Erwin says he is “excited for the challenge” of joining Leeds United after becoming the club’s second signing of the summer. The 20-year-old striker was unveiled at Elland Road on Wednesday afternoon, signing a three-year deal from Motherwell to end weeks of intense transfer rumours linking him with a switch to England. “I’m over the moon,” he said. “There’s been a lot of speculation in the last couple of weeks but I’m happy to get it over the line today. “I was over the moon that such a big club was interested and I don’t think I could have ever turned that offer down. “This is the first season I’ve seen first-team football. Two years ago I was on loan in the lower leagues in Scotland at Arbroath, which was successful. “I just want to continue progressing as a player and I think this is the best place to progress. “I think it’s a good time to come when I’m young and I can mature as a person and progress as a player as well. “Leeds is a big club, it’s a good opportunity. Erwin caught the eye at Motherwell during his first full season as a first-team regular, ending the campaign with an impressive five goals from the last nine games playing as a wide forward. Describing his own style of play, Lee said: “I play just off-the-cuff. Most people think I’m just a target man because I’m a six-foot plus striker but I don’t really like to be a target man to be honest. “I like to run the channels and go in-behind. “It wasn’t until February when I was getting a run up front. It was good to end the season on a high at Motherwell and keep that Premier League status. But I’m excited for the challenge.When asked about adapting to the Championship, Lee added: “It’s a massive challenge. “You look at players like Scott Parker at Fulham and Ross McCormack, who was here, a lot of players in the Championship are experienced professionals. “The main challenge is just working hard to impress the coach and everyone at Leeds United to try and get in the first-team. That’s the main focus.”


Lorimer welcomes Lee Erwin to ER

Wds 10th of June. Erwin signs for Whites and becomes signing no 2 Leeds are pleased to announce the signing of striker Lee Erwin from Motherwell on a three-year deal. The 21-year-old, who arrives as a free transfer, becomes the club’s second new addition of the summer following the arrival of goalkeeper Charlie Horton earlier this week. Erwin was highly sought after in Scotland, with champions Celtic among the clubs reported to have shown an interest, but Leeds have moved quickly to secure his services following the expiry of his Motherwell contract. Erwin played a key role in securing his former club’s Scottish Premiership status and ended the 2014/15 campaign in blistering form, scoring five times in their last nine games including the recent play-offs victory over Rangers. The 6’2″ forward, a former Scotland Under-19s international, progressed through the Academy at Fir Park and made his senior Motherwell debut last summer following a productive loan spell with Arbroath. Eight goals in 11 appearances for the Scottish League One side, including a double on his debut, enhanced his bright reputation but an injury upon his return to Motherwell delayed his chance in the top-flight. His first Motherwell outing eventually came in last summer’s Europa League qualifying tie with Icelandic side Stjarnan and he backed it up with a goal against St. Mirren on his league debut the following month. The Scotsman ended last season with 38 appearances to his name in all competitions, scoring six times, and will now add to Uwe Rosler’s striking options as his squad begins to take shape for the new campaign.’Well manager Ian Baraclough was disappointed Erwin decided to move on so early in his career, but believes it once again shows the club’s ability to produce young players who can play at a higher level. He said: We are obviously disappointed to lose a player like Lee and I told the lad himself I think he would’ve benefited from a further year playing week to week in our first-team. “However, with that all being said, I understand how football works and Leeds Utd is a great club with a great tradition and it’s a big opportunity for him. We’re very proud of him and what he’s achieved. “From our point of view, it’s a feather in the cap for our Elite Academy; from Chris McCart, Gordon Young and Scott Leitch as well as the individual coaches and the scouts who worked with Lee from such a young age. “They are often over-looked, but this is yet another example of Motherwell producing or recruiting a player, developing them and helping them move up the football ladder. “That’s exactly our strategy for the forthcoming years and the challenge for myself and everyone at the club is to find the next Lee Erwin, and do it all over again. “I would like to personally thank Lee for all his effort since my arrival at the club. He has been absolutely superb for me both in matches and in training and has earned this move. We wish him all the very best in his career down south.” Motherwell are thought to have earned 350K from the deal.

Weds June 10th Redfearn staying at Leeds NEIL REDFEARN has confirmed that he intends to take up Leeds United’s offer of returning to his old job running the club’s academy – and will start work in his old role on July 1. Redfearn was informed that his contract as head coach at the club would not be renewed at the end of last season and had been considering the club’s offer of a return to his former position. Redfearn has now decided to take up his old post and his continued involvement with Leeds would come as a major boost to supporters. He told the YEP:My contract had said that if I wasn’t offered the (head) coaching job, then I will go back to being the academy manager. “That is what will be happening and I will go back on the first of July, as it stands at the moment. “I have had a bit of interest from other people, but to be honest, I am a fair way into this now with the academy and had spent six and a bit years here.” “I have brought a number of these kids through and it is something that I want to keep doing.” Despite Redfearn’s unceremonious removal as head coach of Leeds after steadying the ship impressively in 2014-15 and having the gratitude of large sections of United’s support, executive director Adam Pearson confirmed last month that the 49-year-old was free to resume his old job. Speaking at the unveiling of Uwe Rosler as new head coach on May 20 and clarifying the position of Redfearn, Pearson said: Neil’s been offered the appointment back in charge of the academy and we await his answer. “The role’s been offered to him and I’m sure he’ll come back to me as soon as he’s has time to think about it.” Despite a bitter fall-out at the time with Massimo Cellino, Redfearn is now focusing his energies and commitment into making a further success of his old role with the academy – where he successfully brought through a host of players to the first-team including Sam Byram, Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook and Charlie Taylor. He added: “As far as I am concerned, on the first of July, I am coming back as academy manager. “It is a job which in the greater scheme of things had been massively important and it is important for the academy to know that it does matter.”


Horton becomes Rosler’s 1st new signing – Lets hope the rest are a lot higher profile

Tues 6th of June Horton becomes Rosler’s first signing We are pleased to announce the signing of young goalkeeper Charlie Horton from Cardiff City on a two-year deal. The highly-rated shot-stopper, a USA Under-23s international, becomes Uwe Rosler’s first signing of the summer and arrives at Elland Road with a burgeoning reputation in the game. The initial plan for Charlie, who Rosler describes as “a future number one”, is to gain regular playing time for the club’s Under-21s while also providing competition for the first team, who he will train with throughout the week. Horton, 20, was born in London but moved to America at the age of nine and went on to gain a soccer scholarship at North Carolina University, which he turned down in favour of a move to English football. Having been brought across to England on the recommendation of former Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel, the youngster joined Peterborough United on a three-year deal back in 2013. He spent a year at London Road before moving up a division to sign for Championship rivals Cardiff City last July, joining the club’s U21s set-up and providing back-up to the senior goalkeepers within the squad. Charlie spent last season working closely with goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis, who Rosler says had a big influence in United’s first move of the summer window. “We had Charlie on our radar through our goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis – he had worked with him at Cardiff,” said Rosler. “I know the manager and assistant manager of the USA team and they gave him a glowing reference. We’re very happy with him. “He has fantastic physical attributes and is a really positive character. He really wants to learn. “He worked with Richard Hartis at Cardiff and we appreciate the fact that we can work with him again – that was a big factor in him coming to join us.”Charlie, who is fresh from international duty with the USA U23s, said: “I’m really excited. “Any time you can come to a club like Leeds, where all the players are hungry for success and hungry to move up the table and back to where the club belongs in the Premier League, that’s every players dream. “To be a part of that is something I’d love to have on my resume. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about Leeds United as a club. “I used to grow up when I was young living in England watching Mark Viduka and those kind of players play back then in the Premier League. “The stadium is unbelievable, the training ground is unbelievable. The facilities here are first class. Now it’s our job as players to get the club back to where it belongs.” Although Horton has been earmarked to feature in the U21s, Rosler is confident that the 20-year-old will give first-choice keeper Marco Silvestri a real challenge for the number one shirt. “He is one who will push every single day to get better,” said the head coach. “He will push the guys in front of him and he will get playing time in the Under-21s. “I’m looking forward to working with such a positive character like Charlie. He will train everyday with the first team and Richard. “He has very good potential and will be a future number one. He will travel with us for pre-season – he’s a first-team player playing in the Under-21s. “He has tremendous potential. Richard knows him very well and we need that sort of positive character to be the best that we can be every day in training. “That is what I am looking for, to create an environment where you really push for your place and an environment of excellence where you push yourself to get better every day.”

Tues 6th of June Three more backroom staff added Leeds United have added three new members to their backroom team this week as the club continue to build ahead of next season. Former Wigan Athletic and Liverpool secretary Stuart Hayton arrived at the club on Monday. Richard Hartis arrives at Elland Road as the new first team goalkeeping coach. Hartis arrives after a spell at Cardiff City having previously worked with Manchester United for over a decade and he replaces Neil Sullivan who will now look after the academy goalkeepers. Martyn Glover is the clubs new head of recruitment. Glovers arrives after working previously with Sam Allardyce at both Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United. The three follow Adam Pearson (executive director), Uwe Rosler (head coach) and Rob Kelly (assistant head coach) to arrive at the club this summer since the return of owner Massimo Cellino.

Liam Moore

Liam Moore

6th of June United chase Moore Leeds United are interested in taking Leicester City defender Liam Moore on a season-long loan. Elland Road boss Uwe Rosler is keen to bolster his squad after taking over the helm last month. The England Under-21 international spent a spell under Rosler at Brentford in 2013. Moore, 22, made 11 Premier League appearances for the Foxes last season and rejoined the Bees towards the end of the campaign after slipping down the pecking order. The centre-back is part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for this summer’s European Under-21 Championships.


Jennings started the ball rolling and FIFA’s sinister decline – If you read only one book on FIFA read his


The smuggest of them all – Sepp Blatter at last steps down


The most corrupt organisation in the world

Thursday 6th of June  How a curmudgeonly old reporter exposed the FIFA scandal that toppled Sepp Blatter -The Washing Post The biggest news story of the year was breaking, but the journalist responsible was fast asleep. It was just after dawn on May 27 when Andrew Jennings’s phone began ringing. Swiss police had just launched a startling raid on a luxury hotel in Zurich, arresting seven top FIFA officials and charging them and others with running a $150 million racket. The world was stunned. The waking world, that is. If Jennings had bothered to climb out of bed, he wouldn’t have been surprised at the news. After all, he was the man who set the investigation in motion, with a book in 2006, “FOUL! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals,” followed by an exposé aired on the BBC’s “Panorama” program that same year, and then another book in 2014, called “Omerta: Sepp Blatter’s FIFA Organised Crime Family.”“My phone started ringing at six in the morning,” Jennings said Tuesday from his farm in the hilly north of England. “I turned it off actually to get some more sleep, because whatever is happening at six in the morning is still going to be there at lunch time, isn’t it?” If you can’t tell already, Jennings is an advocate of slow, methodical journalism. For half a century, the 71-year-old investigative reporter has been digging into complex, time-consuming stories about organized crime. In the 1980s, it was bad cops, the Thai heroin trade and the Italian mob. In the ’90s, he turned to sports, exposing corruption with the International Olympic Committee. For the past 15 years, Jennings has focused on the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), international soccer’s governing body. As other journalists were ball watching — reporting scorelines or writing player profiles — Jennings was digging into the dirty deals underpinning the world’s most popular game. “Credit in this saga should go to the dogged obsession of a single reporter, Andrew Jennings,” the Guardian’s Simon Jenkins wrote last week, citing in particular Jennings’s BBC “Panorama” film called “The Beautiful Bung: Corruption and the World Cup.” Now, after decades of threats, suspicions about tapped phones and intermittent paychecks, Jennings is being vindicated with every twist and turn in the FIFA scandal. [Interpol issues ‘red notices’ for 6 people tied to the scandal: Who they are and what that means] During a phone interview Tuesday morning with The Washington Post, he called FIFA President Sepp Blatter “a dead man walking.” Two hours later, Blatter announced he was stepping down, just days after being reelected. “I know that they are criminal scum, and I’ve known it for years,” he said. “And that is a thoughtful summation. That is not an insult. That is not throwing about wild words.””These scum have stolen the people’s sport. They’ve stolen it, the cynical thieving bastards,” he said. “So, yes, it’s nice to see the fear on their faces.” The best way for Americans to imagine Andrew Jennings is to roll Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein together, then add a touch of a Scottish burr and plenty of flannel. Jennings was born in Scotland but moved to London as a child. His grandfather played for a prominent London soccer team, Clapton Orient (now called Leyton Orient), but Jennings had little interest in the sport. He did, however, have a nose for journalism. After finishing school, Jennings joined the Sunday Times in London, where he got a taste of investigative journalism. He went to work for the BBC, but when the network wouldn’t air his documentary on corruption within Scotland Yard, he quit and joined a rival program called “World in Action.” He turned his police investigation into his first book, “Scotland Yard’s Cocaine Connection,” and a documentary. “I’m a document hound. If I’ve got your documents, I know all about you,” he said. “This journalism business is easy, you know. You just find some disgraceful, disgustingly corrupt people and you work on it! You have to. That’s what we do. The rest of the media gets far too cozy with them. It’s wrong. Your mother told you what was wrong. You know what’s wrong. Our job is to investigate, acquire evidence.” That is, essentially, Jennings’s mantra: Take time, dig up dirt and don’t trust those in power. He applied the same logic to international drug smuggling rings and Italian mafiosi. Then sports. After the Scotland Yard exposé, a colleague at “World In Action” named Paul Greengrass — who later became a Hollywood filmmaker, directing several Jason Bourne films as well as the recent blockbuster “Captain Phillips” — suggested investigating the IOC. “I said, ‘What’s that?’” Jennings remembers. Soon, however, the clueless sports fan would become steeped in the inner workers of the Olympic committee. “When I looked into the IOC, I discovered the president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, who was universally sucked up to by the sports press, was a Franco fascist. He thought the wrong side won World War II.” (Samaranch admitted to serving as Spanish dictator Francisco Franco’s sports minister but claimed he was not a fascist at heart.) Jennings wrote a trilogy of books about a series of alleged boondoggles, bribes and drug controversies that culminated in the scandal surrounding the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, where dozens of IOC members were expelled or sanctioned for wrongdoing. He said that most sports reporters wouldn’t touch these subjects for fear of losing access to top officials and athletes, or because it simply took too much time and effort. When Samaranch stepped down in 2001, Jennings decided to shift his focus. “By then I was aware that there was something very, very stinky at FIFA,” he said From prior investigations and studying organized crime, Jennings knew he would need sources to crack open the secretive soccer association. “You know that everywhere, any organization, if there is any sign at all of how corrupt the people at the top are, there’s decent people down in the middle management, because they’ve got mortgages, they’ve got children to put through school,” Jennings said. “They are just employees, and they will have a sense of proper morality. So you’ve got to get them to slip you the stuff out the back door. It used to be from the filing cabinet; now it’s from the server.” So the Scotsman decided to ambush one of Blatter’s first news conferences after being reelected in 2002. “I went to the press conference there in their Zurich headquarters,” he said. “Sloping all up the walls on either side was the employees, the robots all in their FIFA blazers with robotic faces, nothing to say, just lining the walls. So I said, ‘Right, they’re the ones I want. I’ve got to get the message to them that I’m here. I’ll cross the road for a fight. I want it. I’m looking for it.’” If Blatter’s downfall can be traced to a single moment, it is probably the one that came next. When the FIFA president finished his speech, Jennings grabbed the microphone and blurted out a deliberately outrageous question. “I’m surrounded by all these terribly posh reporters in suits and silk ties and buttoned up shirts, for God’s sake,” he remembered. “And here’s me in me hiking gear. I get the mike and I said, ‘Herr Blatter, have you ever taken a bribe?’”Talk about crashing the party,” Jennings recalled Tuesday. “Reporters are moving away from me as if I’ve just let out the biggest smell since bad food. Well, that’s what I wanted. Thank you, idiot reporters. The radar dish on top of my head is spinning around to all these blazers against the wall, saying, ‘Here I am. I’m your boy. I’m not impressed by these tossers. I know what they are. I’ve done it to the IOC, and I’ll do it to them.’” The outcome was doubly golden. Blatter denied ever taking a bribe, which gave Jennings a great headline. But he also got the goods. “Six weeks later I’m in the dark at about midnight down where the river in Zurich widens out into the lake, standing by a very impressive looking 19th-century office block, wondering why I’ve been asked to go there by somebody I don’t know when the door opens and I’m dragged in,” Jennings recalls. “I’m taken into a very posh set of offices … and within half an hour a senior FIFA official arrived carrying a wonderful armful of documents. And it ran from there. And it still does.” Those documents outlined the incredible opulence of FIFA’s executive committee, chief among them Blatter. Jennings reported that Blatter had been paying himself a secret, six-figure bonus. “In Herr Blatter’s case, he doesn’t know what a scheduled flight is. He has no idea. He hasn’t taken one for about 40 years. He always has to buy a private jet out of Zurich. Even if he was going shopping at the local mall, he’d probably hire one,” Jennings said. “He’s got to be given constant evidence that he’s a powerful, important person. So the big Mercedes taking him to the private jet engine at the Zurich airport is what sustains him.” Blatter threatened to sue Jennings for defamation but didn’t. Jennings kept digging into the president and his fellow FIFA executives. At times, he suspected that his phone had been tapped, his computer hacked. In 2006, he published his first book on the organization, “Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals,” which accused Blatter and other top soccer executives of accepting bribes. The officials didn’t just deny it. Sometimes they physically defended themselves. “Jack Warner punched me, spat at me” on camera, Jennings said. “These guys come out to the car park and suddenly there’s me: terrible and old and gray and lined, saying, ‘Excuse me! Did you take your bribes through this or that company?’ And they go all rigid.” That same year, he aired more allegations against FIFA on “Panorama,” a BBC documentary program and then more still in 2010 on the same current affairs show. Leveling the playing field “Foul!” earned Jennings a following, including admirers within law enforcement. In 2009, he got a call from an “ex-spook” who wanted to introduce Jennings to a few people. “I go down to London to this anonymous office block, and you go in and there are three men with American accents,” Jennings remembers. “They’ve got government-style haircuts. They introduce themselves as FBI special agents and give me their business cards, which say ‘organized crime squad.’” “Bliss,” Jennings remembered thinking. “The European police forces will do nothing [about FIFA] so it was damn good to see professional investigators get involved.” Jennings was eager to help, and after making a few phone calls to sources in the Americas, he sent confidential Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) financial reports to the FBI and the IRS. They showed mysterious, multimillion-dollar “commissions,” Jennings claimed. “I said, ‘Right, let’s just level the playing field a bit,’” he said. “And I gave them the documents that really got this going.” Jennings trusted the FBI, rather than his fellow reporters, “to look at an organization like FIFA and know what crooks they are,” he said. For six years, he has used his sources to stay abreast of the investigation. Jennings said he knew that a grand jury had met in the past year to consider bringing charges but didn’t know who would be charged or when The answer came while Jennings was sleeping that morning on May 27. Swiss officials arrived en force to the five-star Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, where FIFA’s top officials were meeting ahead of an election to determine if Blatter would remain president. In a matter of minutes, seven current FIFA executives — including its vice president, CONCACAF chief Jeffrey Webb — were arrested and charged with racketeering, bribery, money laundering and fraud. Seven other men, including former FIFA No. 2 Jack Warner, were also indicted in a Brooklyn federal court. “Isn’t it wonderful,” Jennings said. “You are in one of the world’s most luxurious hotels, with all expenses paid, [drinking champagne] on Tuesday night. And you’re still sleeping it off at six o’clock on Wednesday morning when there is a knock, knock, knock. And a police officer asks: ‘Will you put your clothes on, sir?’ “They are never going to be in a luxury hotel again,” he said. “They are going to be in detention in Switzerland. They will lose their extradition cases, because I’m sure the Department of Justice will put on a good case. The Swiss will have to let them go [to America]. … Will they bail them in America? They are all flight risks. They are all foreigners. The first chance they’ll be over the border and gone. So I think they are going to find out just how interesting Rikers Island can be.” Jennings makes no effort to hide his happiness over the fact that the men he has been investigating for 15 years have finally been arrested. “It’s been a very happy week since they got that knock on that door,” he admitted. “It’s nice to know that Herr Blatter won’t be able to sleep tonight. And that he’ll finally get to sleep around half past five. And at six o’clock someone will slam a car door outside and he’ll be shooting out of bed and under the bed. Serves him right. He’s not a nice man.” Shortly after Jennings spoke to The Washington Post, Sepp Blatter, just four days after being reelected, announced that he would be stepping down as president of FIFA. A special election will be called later this year. “It is my deep care for FIFA and its interests, which I hold very dear, that has led me to take this decision,” said Blatter, who has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime. “While I have a mandate from the membership of FIFA, I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football – the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe and love football as much as we all do at FIFA.” As for the reporter behind the biggest sports scandal of the century, Jennings said he can retire soon knowing that his investigations led to real change.”Then I can do my garden up here in the hills and play with my lovely children,” he said, staring out his window at the English countryside. “I’ve had satellite trucks blocking the quarter-mile drive up to my farm here in the hills” since the scandal broke, the freelance journalist said. “It’s great fun.” After years of being barred from FIFA news conferences, Jennings said he’s looking forward to seeing the indicted executives in a U.S. court. “I just hope I can afford the airfare to New York and that someone will let me sleep on their couch,” he said, “so that I can be there in the [courthouse] press box to say, ‘Hi guys! It’s been a long run, hasn’t it?’”


Skulason in action for Iceland against Gareth Bale of Wales

Thursday 6th of June Pescara midfielder interesting Whites Wales’ Gareth Bale takes on Iceland’s Ari Freyr Skulason, centre, and Leeds target Birkir Bjarnason, right, right. Pescara midfielder Birkir Bjarnason could be set for a reunion with Uwe Rosler after catching the attention of Leeds United. The Icelandic international is being monitored by Leeds with his contract at Pescara due to end after the Serie B play-off final. Pescara are on the verge of reaching the Italian top flight but the Italian club have allowed Bjarnason’s deal to run down and the 27-year-old will be available on a free transfer if he opts to move on. He and United head coach Rosler know each other well having worked together at Norwegian outfit Viking between 2006 and 2009. Bjarnason – an attack-minded midfielder – began his senior career at Viking and remained there until 2011 when he secured a transfer to Standard Liege in Belgium. Pescara took him to Italy two years later but Bjarnason spent the 2013-14 season at Sampdoria after signing for them in a co-ownership deal. He returned to Pescara last summer but is likely to seek another transfer if Pescara fail to win promotion. Pescara and Bologna play the first leg of their Serie B play-off final tomorrow, with the return leg scheduled for Tuesday evening. Discussions about Bjarnason’s future are expected to intensify once the promotion fight is settled. The midfielder is an experience Iceland international with almost 40 caps to his name. He has scored 12 times from midfield for Pescara this season, including a goal in the club’s play-off semi-final win over Vicenza. Bjarnason’s agent, Jim Solbakken, was asked by the YEP if he was aware of interest from Elland Road. Solbakken said that “on that I cannot comment.” Leeds recruited heavily from the Italian leagues with limited success last summer and the club will pay closer attention to the British market during the current transfer window. United are close to signing Scottish striker Lee Erwin on a three-year contract from Motherwell – a move which is likely to be sealed when Erwin returns from a holiday in America – and they have been looking at domestic centre-backs after failing to reach a quick deal to land ex-loanee Sol Bamba on a permanent basis. iscussions with Bamba – a defender with ample experience of the Championship – are ongoing but the two sides are yet to agree on wages. A fee with his current club Palermo has already been negotiated. Rosler, however, admitted on the day of his appointment as head coach that he was happy to look abroad for signings, despite the extent to which a cosmopolitan squad at Leeds struggled in the Championship this season. Rosler said: “It’s all about balance and if you get the balance in the team right between know-how and hunger, spirit, talent, I think you can go a long, long way.” For us, we are under financial restrictions so we have to look where we are getting that sort of talent. Sometimes you have to go outside the UK to find that sort of talent. The balance has to be right.” United owner Massimo Cellino is currently in Italy attending to personal business matters but it is not known if he plans to travel to watch Bjarnason tomorrow.

Thursday June 6th  Raw talent is usually worth the investment – Lorimer I got the chance to watch Lee Erwin during a game between Motherwell and Kilmarnock a few weeks ago. I didn’t go there to watch him specifically, I just happened to be at the match, but he was one of the players who stood out. He scored that night and he showed the attributes of a talented centre-forward: strong, tall, quick enough and blessed with two good feet. Since hearing that Leeds United were interested in him, I’ve obviously been asking about to see what people in Scotland think of him. He gets positive reports and more to the point a lot of clubs seem to be following him. So if he is going to be coming to Elland Road, I’ll be happy with that. At 21 he hasn’t played a huge amount of football but he’s just gone through a full season in the Scottish Premiership. The question you automatically get asked about any Scottish footballer is ‘how will he cope with the level of the English Championship?’ My answer to that is always the same. Good players are good players. Robert Snodgrass came from Livingston and he coped no problem in the Championship. That’s simply because the boy had ability. Some who’ve come south have struggled and there’s no denying that but if you pick your players carefully then it’s not an impossible move. Snoddy made it look easy. He was a young laddie when we first took him and he’s thrived down here. Erwin falls into that same sort of age bracket. This is only my opinion but I much prefer the idea of Leeds investing money in players with raw potential and years ahead of them than I do the idea of them forking out on guys who are maybe creeping past their peak. Obviously I realise that you need a blend in the team. Flooding the side with emerging prospects is a risk and you have to find the right balance. Experience does have a certain value, especially in the harder times. You want leaders in the dressing room and it’s difficult to expect kids to act in that way. They want to play freely, without added responsibility. But as I’ve said many times before, this club is at its best when it tries to build a squad, rather than buying one at great expense. That doesn’t just apply to the Don Revie era. With Howard Wilkinson, the same principles applied. You had Gary Speed and David Batty mixed in with the likes of Gordon Strachan. David O’Leary also relied massively on the academy at Thorp Arch. We’ve hit another purple patch in terms of the production line at the minute and this is the time to really exploit it. Assuming we sign him, Erwin and others like him should relish the environment at Leeds. They’d be joining a squad where the average age is similar to their own. It’s not like a 21-year-old is going to be an isolated kid amongst loads of old pros. Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt, Sam Byram and Charlie Taylor should be right on the same wavelength, making it easier to settle in. What I like about that group is that they’re all at the beginning of their careers, young and hungry. Maybe I’m talking out of turn but I do think football fans generally prefer to see a team made up of vibrant young talent. They’re not so enthusiastic about lads who are entering the back end of their careers and perhaps looking for one last contract. To me, the passion and desire isn’t the same. We had a situation a couple of years back where a group of our players were travelling to Leeds from Manchester every day. They weren’t even living in the area. I’m not questioning their professionalism or their commitment to the job but it does strike you as a bunch of guys who are passing through the club and not necessarily here for the long haul. And in fairness to them, I understand their attitude. Some were in their 30s, some were no doubt settled with families and most of them probably knew they wouldn’t be at Leeds forever. In their situation I might have done the same. The young lads, on the other hand, live locally. Some of them are Leeds fans and they’ve got roots in these parts. It can be tough to relocate at a young age but as someone like Snodgrass found, moving at an early stage of your career gives you a chance to settle and make a home here. If Erwin is coming to Leeds then I’m sure people will be saying the same to him – head down south, embrace it and take it all in. As I said, the weight of expectation at Elland Road can’t be dumped entirely on young shoulders. It’s a demanding club with a lot of pressure. But I actually think that the youth has a positive impact on others around them. Look at Luke Murphy. When Murphy first signed, all eyes were on him. He’d cost £1m, or so we were told, and big things were expected of him. His first season here was a hard one for the club and he never found his form. A lot of people, myself included, were thinking ‘is this lad any good?’ But in the second half of the season just gone, I thought he was excellent. And I don’t doubt that one of the reasons for his improvement was the lack of attention on him. Round about him, the kids did their thing and shared the plaudits. Murphy was able to crack on in the background, helping out and acting like a senior pro’. Only he could say for certain but I have a feeling the situation did him a favour. That sort of environment is extremely healthy. You’ve got hunger, you’ve got energy and you’ve got lots of people driving themselves to carve out careers. None of them are at a stage where they can think they’ve made it. I don’t know if Erwin will sign and that’s for the club to tell us. But what I do believe is that he’s the sort of target Leeds should be looking at. Thursday 6th of June LUFC Magnificent seven for Leeds Leeds United have continued their belief in the youth set-up at Elland Road by agreeing two more deals with products from the academy. Jake Skelton and Tyler Denton have both agreed their second professional deals at Leeds taking the total to seven players from the academy to agree new deals with the club this week. The pair join fellow development squad members Luke Parkin and Alex Purver in agreeing new deals this week. Scholars, Frank Mulhern, Tom Lyman and Bailey Peacock-Farrell have all agreed their first professional contracts this week. All seven will be buoyed by the performances of Sam Byram, Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt and Charlie Taylor in recent seasons as they look to break into the first team. Kalvin Phillips and Chris Dawson have also tasted first team experience whilst Lewis Walters was a regular member of the first team squad. Weds 3rd of June. Leeds plan for alternative to Bamba Leeds United are widening their search for a new centre-back as they wait to see if Sol Bamba will take up the offer of a return to Elland Road. United have begun assessing alternatives to Bamba amid on-going discussions about a deal which brings the Ivory Coast international back to Elland Road this summer. Leeds have an agreement in place with Bamba’s existing club, Palermo, and their interest in him has not been affected by his cutting assessment of Massimo Cellino’s management of the club last month. Speaking after the final game of the 2015-16 season, Bamba made clear his desire to take up a permanent contract at Elland Road but he criticised the treatment of former head coach Neil Redfearn and assistant Steve Thompson and described the running of Leeds as “ridiculous”. Cellino, nonetheless, has been in touch with Bamba’s agent since returning from his Football League isqualification and Bamba is the club’s preferred choice in an area which the club intends to strengthen. The two sides are yet to agree on a wage package, however, and the situation is likely to come to a head shortly with United’s deal with Palermo due to expire later this month. Leeds negotiated an option to take Bamba full-time when they signed him on a half-season loan in the January transfer window. The 30-year-old defender has two years left on his Palermo contract but he has made only one league appearance for the Italian club and does not appear to be part of their plans. Bamba admitted shortly after joining Leeds that he did not expect to stay with Palermo this summer, saying he was confused by his peripheral role there.If I’m honest I don’t think (he’ll remain at Palermo),” Bamba said. Not unless the manager changes. The club made it clear that they want me to come back and play but I don’t see that happening. “We (his family) want to settle here if we can and get a deal done as soon as possible.” Sources on the continent claim that Bamba’s agent has been in touch with Middlesbrough about a possible move to The Riverside but Leeds have not ruled out the possibility of striking a deal. The club, however, have been casting their eye over the market with the aim of finding options if talks with Bamba fail. United approached Alex Pearce, the Reading captain who is out of contract and is leaving the Madejski Stadium, but Pearce is understood to be reluctant to move to Yorkshire. West Bromwich Albion’s Chris Baird – another out-of-contract player – has also been linked with Leeds. The agent of Matt Mills, another rumoured target, told the YEP yesterday that there was “nothing in the talk” of Mills moving to Elland Road. United are yet to finalise their first deal of the summer but the club are confident that Motherwell striker Lee Erwin will accept a three-year deal at Elland Road on his return from a holiday in America. Cellino, who was due to leave England for Italy on business yesterday, has been in contact with Erwin’s representatives for most of the past week and appears optimistic about landing the 21-year-old’s signature. Erwin’s deal at Motherwell ends on June 30 but he will command a six-figure fee due to his age. The Fir Park club have offered him an extension to his existing contract but reports in Scotland say Erwin informed Motherwell over the weekend that he would be leaving. The forward, meanwhile, appears to have avoided the threat of him starting next season with a suspension. Erwin was believed to have been sent off at the end of Motherwell’s Scottish Premiership play-off victory over Rangers on Sunday following an ugly confrontation with Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni. Motherwell confirmed yesterday that Erwin had received only a yellow card.

Weds June 3rd. Baraclough urges Erwin to stay put Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough has pleaded with Leeds United target Lee Erwin to stay at Fir Park for another year.Baraclough said the prospect of Erwin leaving for Elland Road was “disappointing” and claimed the striker could get a “better move” by remaining with Motherwell next season. Erwin, 21, is out of contract this summer and Leeds are confident of signing him on a three-year deal when he returns from a holiday in America later this month. United owner Massimo Cellino has spoken repeatedly with Erwin’s representatives and Leeds are ready to pay a six-figure sum in compensation. Motherwell are entitled to a fee on account of Erwin’s age but they have offered the Scotland youth international a new contract in an attempt to prevent his departure. Erwin has just reached the end of his first full season in the Scottish Premiership, a term in which he scored six goals. Baraclough told the Daily Mail: “It hasn’t been confirmed to me that Lee is going to Leeds but the reports are very strong and, for me, that would be disappointing. “He’s just starting to find his feet with regular first-team football. I can give him that chance in a great, competitive league. And I believe Lee could get a better move if he stayed for another six months or a year and played for our first team.” He has plenty of time on his hands. He’s playing for fans that love him, in front of a manager and coaching staff and with players who appreciate what he’s done. I’d like him to stay a little bit longer.” Baraclough added: “I’m sure like any young player he likes the trappings of being a footballer. “I’ve spoken to his father on a couple of occasions and I know Lee has a sensible family. I think if he knuckles down and is dealt with in the right way, and keeps developing, he can go and play for his country. “He can play for Scotland, without doubt.”


Erwin gets involved with that eejit Moshni after the Rangers match


Lee Erwin certainly impressed in both games in albeit against an abysmal Rangers side

June 1st. Erwin move gets closer. Motherwell striker Lee Erwin has emerged as a major target for Leeds United.The 21-year-old is wanted by the Yorkshire club and his representatives are understood to have held talks with United owner Massimo Cellino last week.Erwin was involved in controversy yesterday before being one of three players sent off in the tunnel following a fiery Scottish Premier play-off clash with Rangers who lost 6-1 on aggregate. The trouble kicked off when Erwin pushed Rangers’ Bilel Mohsni after his offer of a handshake was refused. But the Tunisian defender reacted with fury, swinging punches and kicks as players from both teams rushed in. Mohsni, Erwin and unused Well sub Fraser Kerr were sent off in the tunnel.Erwin  a 6’2” centre forward – is out of contract at the end of this month but Motherwell have offered him a new deal and Leeds would be required to pay a fee for him due to his age.The Glasgow-born youngster came through the academy at Fir Park and has been capped by Scotland at Under-19 level. A new striker is a priority for Leeds after a Championship term in which the club averaged little over a goal a game. Erwin’s tally for this season totalled six, although five of those goals came in his last nine appearances. He would give new United head coach Uwe Rosler an option to lead the line in the German’s preferred 4-3-3 formation but several rival Championship clubs are also chasing him. Motherwell have been fighting to keep Erwin and speaking earlier this month, manager Ian Baraclough said: “We’ve spoken to him. He’s been at the club a long time and we want to keep him here. He wants to stay, he knows he is better off here playing his football. Lee is getting a regular run of games and is scoring goals, he is a real handful. If someone wants to come and take him it will take a lot of money.” Leeds’ attempt to land Erwin and other new players will be aided by the impending appointment of Martyn Glover, West Ham’s head of recruitment, to the same role at Elland Road. United have approached Glover after pulling out of a deal to appoint Norwich City scout Steve Head as their new head of recruitment last week. Head appeared to have secured the job after visiting Thorp Arch and reaching an agreement with Cellino but Cellino withdrew his offer after learning that Head was due to depart on an immediate holiday. Leeds are pushing for signings after naming Rosler as head coach and Cellino said he had “no time” to wait for Head to start work at Elland Road. The Italian has also spoken with Celtic scout David Moss in the past month but Glover – West Ham’s head of recruitment since 2011 – is emerging as Cellino’s preferred alternative. Before moving to Upton Park, Glover worked as head of recruitment at Blackburn Rovers. He is under contract at West Ham but the Premier League outfit are set for a summer of change after parting company with manager Sam Allardyce.  Leeds are revising their entire backroom team and news of their move for Glover comes as former Leicester City boss Rob Kelly prepares to become Rosler’s assistant. He looks a decent player, pacy, skilful, young and  good in the air and at last breaking the link with Italians coming to ER and competing in the Championship.

June 1st United are also close to naming a new goalkeeping coach, with Cardiff City’s Richard Hartis in the frame.Hartis – once a member of Manchester United’s youth-team staff – has been with Cardiff for the past 18 months.Neil Sullivan, who worked as Leeds’ goalkeeping coach during the recent Championship season, is expected to remain with the club and return to his academy coaching post.

June 1st Thompson clears his name Former assistant Steve Thompson, the coach who United suspended in controversial circumstances at the beginning of April, has spoken for the first time about his sudden departure from Elland Road, protesting his innocence and denying rumours of a fall-out between him and Nicola Salerno. Salerno – Leeds’ sporting director last season – was responsible for signing the letter which notified Thompson of his suspension on April 2. The reasons for the decision were never explained to Thompson but the 50-year-old was told in the letter that his contract with United would not be renewed when it expired on June 30. Salerno is no longer working for Leeds, though the club are yet to formally announce his departure from the role of sporting director  to FootballFanCast.com, Thompson said: “There was no incident. I was suspended for no reason whatsoever. It’s been very upsetting. I can say with 100 per cent accuracy that I did absolutely nothing wrong.”Thompson was brought in from Huddersfield Town to assist former head coach Neil Redfearn midway through December. The final weeks of Redfearn’s reign were plagued by problems, including the suspension of Thompson, pressure from the club’s board not to play Mirco Antenucci due to a clause in his contract and the contentious withdrawal of six foreign players through injury ahead of a 2-1 defeat at Charlton Athletic in April.Thompson said: “You cannot work under those circumstances and (with) how things in the dressing room were. There are many things that are not right at that club.”