We provided a transfer rumor update just 48 hours ago, and it's already out of date. That happens in January, but especially when your coach sits down with the press to talk about the window. A few quick snippets from today's presser, as well as a few rumors and thoughts from the press who covered the event. And if you're not following Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post on Twitter, you should be.
We'll start with that beard moving to Italy...
Might be mileage in talk of Antenucci leaving. Few people have told me he wants to go back to Italy. Ascoli's the only real interest so far.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 7, 2016
Good news for Antenucci fans, but Hay qualified this tweet by saying Leeds wants to keep him... as long as no other strikers come in. You'd have to think Leeds is looking to add a striker...
Well, never mind. Evans said the hunt for Kyle Lafferty isn't going so well, as Leeds would prefer a loan deal and Norwich want a permanent one. This could just be public negotiation of course, but it seems Kyle coming to Leeds isn't as easy as we had hoped it would be. Moving on...
Cellino told me: "We only want to sell Byram because he wants to leave, so it is better to lose him now. It is less painful."— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) January 7, 2016
The saga of Cellino v. Byram continues. Evans said "There is interest in (Sam), but we are a long way off for anything concrete to happen." Sam has certainly seemed to be enjoying himself at Elland Road of late, winning a player of the month award to boot, but if he'd rather head to the Premier League with another squad (Leicester?), it seems he has options: West Ham and Norwich have both expressed interest.
On Lewis Cook, we've heard this repeatedly from Evans and Cellino: he's not for sale. Alright... but everyone's for sale, and we know that. Does this mean there is no interest currently and the team's trying to make him sound untouchable? Or is the interest not high enough and they're negotiating for more? Or is he really not for sale? Transfer windows are ridiculous; we'll have to wait and see, but it seems most likely Cook stays.
Evans says Leeds have received - and rejected - two offers from "overseas clubs" for Giuseppe Bellusci. Says he wants to keep Bellusci.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 7, 2016
Well that's that. We discussed a rumor on Tuesday that Bellusci was likely heading to Verona; that appears to not be the case. If they can't bring in any other defenders, this is good. (Why does it seem the rumors are almost all about players heading out?)
Evans basically confirmed that he'd enquired about Peter Crouch (Stoke) and Jack Grealish (Villa) but said neither were available. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 7, 2016
Ah, there we go. Crouch and Grealish the first names mentioned as possible targets (outside Lafferty), both "unavailable." Crouch hasn't played much at Stoke this season, but he'd be a big name transfer for sure. And Grealish? Well, he's not my cup of tea, but alright. Last tweet for today...
Ultimately, a football club does not sell its best players if it wants to get promoted— Amitai Winehouse (@awinehouse1) January 6, 2016
Not a rumor or confirmation from the presser, but a good point nonetheless. We'll see what happens in the coming days, potentially teams are waiting to transfer until after the FA Cup fixtures this weekend, but when most of the rumors are about your squad leaving, you can't feel good about it. Several journos have commented that the team needs to look towards the future and not promotion this season, but regardless, that means holding on to your top players. If Byram, Cook, Bellusci, and even Antenucci leave, Leeds won't be in a better position this year or next unless they have replacements lined up.
Here's hoping Cellino and Evans don't waste this window. #MOT