Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Leeds United closing in on Leicester City striker Chris Wood

Yorkshire Post 29/6/15
LEEDS UNITED are understood to be closing in on the signing of Leicester City forward Chris Wood.
Leeds saw a seven-figure bid, believed to be over £2m with add-ons, agreed by the Foxes late last week and have been battling it out with Wolves to sign the 23-year-old.
After seeing an initial offer rebuffed by Leicester, Wanderers come back in with a second bid, which was accepted by the East Midlands outfit.
Wood is considering his options with Leeds understood to be winning the race to sign him.
Wood’s days at Leicester are 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.
Wood scored on the opening day of last season for Leicester in a 2-2 Premier League 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.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Leeds United: Glover has sown the seeds to bear fruit

Yorkshire Evening Post 29/6/15
HEAD of recruitment Martyn Glover says Leeds United are concentrating their efforts on bringing in a British core of players as they plot their Championship path in 2015-16.
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.”

Leeds United: Juventus star wanted at Elland Road

Yorkshire Evening Post 28/6/15
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.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Former Leeds United director Melvyn Levi dies aged 71

Yorkshire Evening Post 25/6/15
Former Leeds United director Melvyn Levi has died at the age of 71, his family confirmed today.
Mr Levi suffered a massive heart attack while travelling with his wife, Carole, on a ferry from Bilbao to Portsmouth earlier this month.
Paying tribute to her husband, Mrs Levi told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It was so sudden and we are just trying to pick up the pieces. He is very much missed.”
Businessman Mr Levi was part of the so-called Yorkshire Consortium that spent 10 months running Leeds before selling the club to a Swiss-based group with Ken Bates as its UK representative in 2005.
A subsequent falling-out between Mr Levi and Mr Bates led to a number of high-profile court cases.
Mr Bates was ordered to pay £50,000 in damages in 2009 after Mr Levi made a successful claim for defamation at the High Court in London.
And, as recently as March this year, Mr Bates was told to pay £6,000 in damages to Mrs Levi following allegations that she had been harassed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Leeds United: Defensive rock Bamba can be Whites’ leader – Rosler

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/6/15
Leon Wobschall
LEEDS UNITED head coach Uwe Rosler has hailed the permanent arrival of defensive rock Sol Bamba from Palermo – and believes he can be a leader on and off the pitch at Elland Road.
The 30-year-old, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at United in the second half of the 2014-15 season, has signed a two-year deal with the option of a third year after Leeds agreed a undisclosed fee with Palermo.
The fee is understood to be a considerable one, with former sporting director Nicola Salerno – whose official departure from the club was confirmed yesterday – helping to broker the deal.
Rosler said: “I am delighted to get such an experienced player to our squad.
“Of course, I think he has the experience of the league and British football and he has performed very well.
“He brings fantastic qualities with him (in terms of) what we are looking for. He can be a leader by himself for the young team he is working with.
“He brings a lot of qualities in terms of what we are looking for and also what we have because in general, we do not have the tallest team. We need somebody with a lot of qualities in the air.”

Leeds United confirm Salerno departure

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/6/15
Leon Wobschall
LEEDS UNITED have confirmed that sporting director Nicola Salerno has officially left the club after both parties agreed to a mutual termination of his contract.
Confirming the news, the club tweeted: “Nicola Salerno has departed his role as Sporting Director at #lufc after a mutual termination of his contract was reached.
“We would like to thank Nicola for his efforts over the last year and he will always be welcomed back to Elland Road in the future.”
Back in April, club owner Massimo Cellino - who was at the time banned - confirmed that Salerno had resigned following speculation about his position in the wake of the suspension of former United assistant head coach Steve Thompson.
Thompson had been suspended until the end of the season over an “internal issue” and told that his contract would not be renewed when it expired in the summer.
Cellino has claimed he had “been told that Salerno was disrespected by Thompson” after Leeds’ 3-0 win over Fulham on March 18.
Although sources close to Thompson denied that there was any fall-out between the pair at Craven Cottage.
Salerno, who had previously worked under Cellino at Cagliari, helped to arrange the arrival of 15 new players at Leeds last summer.
Salerno, who has been linked with a move to Serie A side Palermo, had another year of his Elland Road contract still to run and is believed to have played an instrumental role in persuading Sol Bamba to join United on a permanent basis.
Bamba completed his full-time move to Leeds yesterday, signed a two-year deal, with the option of a third.

Leeds United: Whites complete Bamba signing

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/6/15
Leon Wobschall
LEEDS UNITED have completed the signing of centre-half Sol Bamba for an undisclosed fee from Palermo.
The defender, 30, who impressed during a loan spell at Elland Road in the second half of last season, has signed a two-year deal with the option of a third.
Bamba was one year into a three-year contract at Palermo but only made one league appearance since joining from Trabzonspor last August, with his days at the Sicilian outfit being effectively numbered.
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.
The former Leicester City centre-half proved an instrumental figure in United’s upturn in the first three months of the new year and produced several outstanding displays.
Bamba made 19 appearances for Leeds in total 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 remained in talks, with executive director Adam Pearson revealing last week that the stopper was close to sealing a return to Leeds.
Pearson, speaking last week, 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.”

Cellino may face further League sanctions after fine over car tax

Yorkshire Post 24/6/15
THE Football League will make no comment regarding Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino’s conviction for tax evasion on a Range Rover until they have seen formal documentation from the case.
Cellino was fined €40,000 at a court hearing in Cagliari yesterday after failing to pay VAT on a Range Rover which had been imported from the United States, according to reports in Sardinia.
He was found guilty of tax evasion, but acquitted of customs offences because estimates of the vehicle’s value fell below the threshold of criminal liability.
The league will now wait to study formal court documents from the case before establishing whether this latest conviction was confirmed by the court judge to be a dishonest act – which could result in a further ban for Cellino under their owners’ and directors’ test.
The same judge in Cagliari, Dr Sandra Lepore, convicted Cellino of tax evasion in relation to his yacht, Nelie, last year and fined him €600,000.
That conviction led to Cellino being disqualified by the Football League in December from having any executive influence at Leeds for four months after they ruled the offence to be dishonest.
The League ruled that because the tax offence involving Nelie had been confirmed by the Italian judge to have been a dishonest act, Cellino breached rules regarding owners and directors.
Cellino failed to have his disqualification overturned at a League hearing in January.
In early March, the ban was extended until the end of the season as a result of Cellino’s failure to disclose court documents.
The United owner also faces a separate court hearing in Italy for tax evasion in relation to a second yacht, Lucky 23, in October.
Leeds have made no comment about the Range Rover case.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Leeds United: Darby set to be named as new first team coach

Yorkshire Post 23/6/15
JULIAN DARBY is set to be named as the new first-team coach at Leeds United.
The Lancastrian’s last coaching appointment was at Nottingham Forest, but he left the City Ground following Billy Davies’ axing in March 2014 alongside fellow back-room staff members David Kelly and Pete Williams.
Bolton-born Darby, 47, also served under Davies during their time together at Preston and Derby.
Darby’s coaching career began at Deepdale and he became first-team coach under Davies before linking up with the Scot when he left for the Rams in 2006.
He followed Davies to the City Ground in January 2009, only to leave following his departure and the appointment of Steve McLaren in June 2011.
Following spells with hometown club Bolton as an under-16s academy coach, he assisted former Trotters’ team mate Jimmy Phillips during his brief stint as caretaker manager following Owen Coyle’s sacking in October 2012.
He returned for a second spell at Forest as first-team coach to Davies in February 2013 and spent 13 months with the Reds.
Darby is well known to Whites’ assistant head coach Rob Kelly from their time together in the East Midlands.
In his playing days, Darby was a midfielder with Bolton, Coventry, West Brom, Preston and Carlisle.

Leeds United: Pearson says focus now on experienced recruits

Yorkshire Evening Post 23/6/15
LEEDS UNITED may still have several pieces of transfer business to conclude this summer, but most observers would venture that they have already made one of their key signings of the close-season already in Adam Pearson.
The 50-year-old made a surprise move back to United – where he served as a commercial director before leaving in 2001 – six weeks ago on May 11 and he has already been working feverishly behind the scenes, helping to instigate a number of key appointments.
Stuart Hayton has come in as the new club secretary at Elland Road, while Martyn Glover has arrived at the club as the head of recruitment.
Rob Kelly has been brought in as deputy to new head coach Uwe Rosler, who was named just nine days after Pearson’s arrival at the club, with Richard Hartis also coming in as the club’s new goalkeeping coach.
Some further coaching appointments are likely with Pearson also working hard behind the scenes to try and establish several key commercial deals for the club.
Just a month-and-a-half in, executive director Pearson has already done plenty, while also quickly establishing a working relationship with owner Massimo Cellino.
But he is under no illusions that much more work is needed likely between now and the start of the season.
After the announcement of a significant five-year kit deal with Italian sportswear firm Kappa, Pearson is hoping to establish links with a number of other key business partners, while also finalise the club’s backroom team after a number of appointments in his time at the club so far.
He said: “(Commercially) It is coming back from a memory point of view to how big the club was.
“I think when I left, it was the eighth biggest club in Europe financially and turning over about eighty million (pounds) and making ten million pounds net profit. It would be great if we could get back to that.
“There is a real desire from the chairman and owner to have a different season to last season. It’s challenging, but, hopefully, we will get there.
“It is interesting. I am learning a lot from a different approach to it and you have to take things on board.
“I saw that first hand at Sheffield Wednesday as well when a different nationality comes into a club, it changes the entire culture. Some people adapt, some don’t. Both parties need to meet in the middle.”
Leeds are also working hard to add to their playing squad, with Pearson acknowledging that the club need ‘three or four proven players’ to give the club the best chance of competing in what will again be an extremely competitive Championship in 2015-16.
Former England midfielder Joey Barton was again linked with a possible move to Leeds in the national press at the weekend – although the financial package involved in luring the 32-year-old to Elland Road is likely to scupper any serious hopes of a move.
Barton was released by relegated QPR in May, with the Scouser coming to the end of a lucrative contract at Loftus Road, where his weekly wages were in the region of £65,000-68,000 per week.
Another reported midfield free agent target, former Derby player John Eustace, 35, is due to hold talks with Glasgow Rangers today, with the Gers set to offer him the Ibrox captaincy in a bid to lure him north.
Leeds have so far signed two players with potential in Motherwell striker Lee Erwin and back-up keeper Charlie Horton, with bringing in some experienced recruits now being the next recruitment focus.
Pearson said: “It’s a good solid start and we need three or four more proven players to come in and then I think we have got a chance of competing.
“The backroom team that is in place should give fans some real confidence.
“The team looks really strong and knows want they want and are pretty determined to do it in the right way.
“I think Uwe and Martyn are working really well together on the recruitment and Rob Kelly and Richard Hartis are working well at Thorp Arch to try and make some changes for when the team get back, so they can visibly see a new culture and start.”

Monday, June 22, 2015

Leeds United: Cellino awaits his fate

Yorkshire Evening Post 22/6/15
Leon Wobschall
LEEDS UNITED owner Massimo Cellino is waiting to learn his fate tomorrow (June 23) with a trial over allegations that he evaded tax owed on an imported Range Rover due to take place in an Italian court.
Cellino, who is accused of importing the car from the USA without paying tax, denies any wrongdoing.
But if he is found guilty, he could incur a further ban from the Football League – following his disqualification for a similar tax offence late last year.
According to Sardinian newspaper La Nuova Sardegna, the Range Rover trial will be ruled upon by Dr Sandra Lepore, the judge who convicted Cellino of evading tax due on a yacht called Nelie last year.
The Range Rover charge was originally due to be settled in January but the court ordered a postponement after Cellino failed to attend.
A hearing in the Sardinian capital of Cagliari in mid-April then delayed the trial until today.
According to reports in Italy, the prosecution in the Range Rover case is calling for a fine of almost £30,000.
Cellino is the subject of a separate tax evasion case regarding failing to allegedly pay import duty of around £75,000 on a yacht called Lucky 23, but the case was adjourned until October 16 at a hearing earlier this month in Cagliari.
Back on December 1, the Football League disqualified Cellino from owning Leeds after obtaining documents from an Italian court that found him guilty of tax evasion on Nelie.
Cellino failed to overturn his disqualification from running the club at a Football League hearing in January.
He subsequently resigned as club president after losing his appeal against the league’s decision to disqualify him as a “relevant owner” until April.
The ban was then extended until the end of the season following Cellino’s failure to disclose court documents, which had confirmed non-payment of tax on Nelie had been a dishonest act.
On May 7, United confirmed that Cellino had been granted permission by the Football League to return to the Championship club’s board after his ban had expired.
A statement said the Italian had taken up the role of chairman with immediate effect after passing the Football League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

Could financial package scupper Leeds United move for Barton?

Yorkshire Post 22/6/15
FORMER England midfielder Joey Barton has again been linked with a possible move to Leeds United - although the YP understands the financial package involved in luring the 32-year-old to Elland Road is likely to scupper any serious hopes of a move.
Barton was released by relegated QPR in May, with the Huyton-born player coming to the end of a lucrative contract at Loftus Road, where his weekly wages were in the region of £65,000-68,000 per week.
Some discussions did take place about Barton remaining in West London, but the fresh terms that QPR were offering were understood to be way short of what the Liverpudlian was seeking and he was not prepared to take a massive pay cut and stay.
The Rs captain is now considering his options, with Leeds having been mentioned as a possible next port of call.
But given his wage demands, it is highly unlikely that Leeds would be in a position to follow up any significant interest in Barton - whose next contract is likely to be the final one of his career.
Back in May, Barton was linked with a return to Marseille, where he spent a redemptive spell on loan in 2012-13.
But Marseille president Vincent Labrune ruled out any potential move due to Barton’s wage demands - after the midfielder’s agent asked the French outfit if they would him to join them next season.
Speaking last month, Labrune said: “The agent call me last week to offer me Joey for next year, but I don’t think so.”
Meanwhile, another veteran midfielder linked with Leeds, former Coventry and Derby player John Eustace, is due in Glasgow tomorrow to speak with Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers.
New Ibrox boss Mark Warburton is ready to offer the Gers’ captaincy to the 35-year-old free agent to help lure him north of the border.

Leeds United defender Byram eyes promotion bid

Yorkshire Evening Post 22/6/15
Leon Wobschall
LEEDS UNITED defender Sam Byram is casting aside speculation regarding his future - and is fully focusing his energies on the Whites enjoying a successful 2015-16 campaign.
The future of Byram, who has a year remaining on his Elland Road deal, is under the microscope with Sunderland being linked with a move this summer and several other top-flight clubs reportedly keeping tabs on him.
Reports in the north-east are suggesting that the Wearsiders will target a move for Byram if they lose out to West Ham in their quest to sign Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson on loan.
But despite the rumours over his future, Byram is concentrating on matters in hand with Leeds, with he and his United team-mates returning to pre-season training next Monday when they will be put through their new paces by new head coach Uwe Rosler - and he is eager to impress.
Byram said: “I’ve had chance to get away and go on a few holidays – it’s nice to have a breather and get some sun after the season but I’m back now and ready to work towards pre-season.
“I’ve been doing runs and trying to keep fit in the days I’ve been back in the country. I’ve managed to keep myself in shape where I can build from here.
“I haven’t met Uwe Rosler yet, so I’m looking forward to getting back to pre-season and trying to impress him throughout the month.
“There’s new staff that have come in as well, so I’m looking forward to getting back in and meeting all the new players as well.
“It shows that the club are making moves in the right direction.
“They’re bringing people in that have got experience and young players to add to the squad. These are all good things.”
On his and United’s ambitions ahead of the new season, Byram added: “As a team, we’ve got to look towards getting promotion. That’s the main focus.
“From a personal point of view, I want to keep trying to improve and play as many games as I can.”

Leeds United: Pearson is building backing for Whites

Yorkshire Evening Post 21/6/15
LEEDS UNITED executive director Adam Pearson is confident that the club will be able to announce more significant commercial deals in the near future following the arrival of Kappa as the club’s kit provider for the next five years.
The deal with the Italian sportswear giant was announced last Tuesday afternoon and Pearson is now working hard behind the scenes to secure more key partnerships with businesses wanting to come on board with Leeds United.
On the likelihood of further sizeable commercial deals transpiring, Pearson added: “We have a whole host of them. Obviously, Kappa is our key partner and with the club sponsor, they are the new main partners we have to get right for the next five years.
“But we are still actively trying to put a partnership programme together and have six to eight key sponsors in different sectors to hang off the two main sponsors.
“There are some interesting deals coming to the table, for sure.
“We have got a lot to do on the commercial side and a lot of partnerships to put in place. But to be fair, they are starting to appear on the table. We have just got to make them big enough to be acceptable to the owner.”
Specifically on the Kappa deal, he continued: “It is about the right length of time for us.
“If you can have the shirt sponsor in place for a long time, it underpins your commercial activity and, hopefully, your partnership deals in other sectors can be a bit shorter to maximise the revenues.
“The owner’s relationship in Italy has been beneficial as has Kappa’s enthusiasm to get back in the UK market. It’s quite an opportune match.”
Meanwhile, reports in the north-east have suggested that Sunderland will target a move for Leeds United defender Sam Byram if they lose out to West Ham in their quest to sign Arsenal full-back carl Jenkinson on loan.
The Wearsiders have agreed a £2.5m deal with the Gunners to take Jenkinson on loan for next season, with the 23-year-old to consider his future after ending his England commitments at the European Under-21 Championships in the Czech Republic.
Jenkinson spent last season on loan at Upton Park and the Hammers are keen on re-signing the player, according to co-chairman David Gold. He commented: “We know we need a right-back and will work tirelessly to bring in Carl.
“If that does not work out, we have other irons in the fire. “We said to Slaven (Bilic) ‘get your priority list and let’s see what we can do’.”
If the Hammers do pip Sunderland for Jenkinson’s services, the north-east outfit are likely to set their sights on Byram, who has been on their radar for the last year.
A £5m fee has been mooted for Byram, with Sunderland in the market for at least one new full-back, with the departure of out-of-contract Anthony Reveillere leaving Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt as the two specialists in that department.
United rejected a £4.5m bid for Byram, who has a year left on his Elland Road deal last August from Southampton.
Several other sides are keeping tabs on Byram.
Leeds players return to pre-season training a week today when the club’s new head coach, Uwe Rosler, will meet his charges for the first time at Thorp Arch.

Top law firm sues Leeds United for £150,000

Yorkshire Evening Post 18/6/15
LEEDS United are facing up to the prospect of a potentially-costly away fixture in the London courts, it has emerged.
Top law firm Mishcon de Reya has started legal proceedings against United, claiming it is owed around £150,000.
The firm says Leeds have yet to come up with money for services that were provided during 2014.
Details of the case are outlined in a written claim lodged by Mishcon de Reya at the High Court in London.
United said they would be making no comment on the matter.
A spokeswoman for the law firm told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I can confirm Mishcon de Reya are suing Leeds United for unpaid fees.”
The London-based firm mounted Leeds owner Massimo Cellino’s successful appeal last year against an attempt by the Football League to stop him buying the Whites.
Its lawyers are also known to have spent time at Elland Road in May last year reviewing United’s finances and setting in motion a redundancy scheme designed to reduce the club’s losses, which were then running at more than £1m each month. Mishcon de Reya is one of the country’s highest-profile law firms, representing stellar clients such as American Express, Harvey Nichols, Peugeot and Prada.
Deputy chairman Anthony Julius was the solicitor of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The firm’s website lists the purchase of a controlling stake in Leeds by the Cellino family as one of a number of football-related transactions involving Mishcon de Reya partner Dean Poster.
Cellino recently returned to work at United after serving a three-month ownership ban imposed by the Football League following his conviction for tax evasion in his native Italy.

Lewis Walters agrees new Leeds United deal

leedsunited.com 17/6/15
Young forward Lewis Walters has agreed a new one-year deal with the club.
Walters, a product of United’s esteemed Academy, will officially put pen to paper in the coming days after accepting the offer presented to him last month.
The 20-year-old is yet to make his first-team debut but was on the periphery of the senior squad for the closing months of last season after recovering from a lengthy knee injury picked up in pre-season.
The striker, who can play centrally or out wide, was an unused substitute for February’s Elland Road defeat to Watford and often was often part of the travelling squad to away games.
Walters also featured 10 times for United’s Under-21s, scoring on three occasions, as he battled his way back to full fitness in a bid to become a regular part of the first-team plans.
Walters, who turned professional back in 2013, is highly-regarded at Thorp Arch having first made a name for himself in the Harrogate Sunday Leagues.
He will now be looking to make an impression on new head coach Uwe Rosler as the squad prepares to return for pre-season training later this month.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kappa: Good deal for both - Adam Pearson and Mark Ward discuss Kappa's announcement

leedsunited.com 16/6/15
Tuesday afternoon saw the club announce a five-year deal with Italian sportswear giants Kappa, and executive director Adam Pearson believes it is a move which will put the club on a "very good commercial footing".
The new 2015/16 home kit will be unveiled at an exclusive Elland Road event for Season Ticket holders on Thursday July 9 before its official launch in the club Superstore the following Saturday (July 11).
Alongside Kappa UK & Ireland managing director Mark Ward, Pearson fronted a press conference at Elland Road to outline the details of the new partnership and how it will benefit the club.
"Kappa are a renowned brand with great history both here and abroad," he said. "They understand the UK market and they’re keen to expand back into this UK market.
"I think they’ve chosen a partner who can give them the volume of sales and have the potential to go back into the Premier League and go even further. I think it’s a good deal for both parties.
"It’s an extremely competitive deal for the club and by far the biggest in the Championship. It would sit comparably with a lot of Premier League clubs.
"For that, we thank Kappa and we know we’re going to have to work very hard in return to make sure it’s a good deal for both parties.
"It certainly puts us on a very good commercial footing.
"I think that five years for a kit deal is the right length of time for a kit deal in this era. It enables some stability in the club.
"To have Kappa in place for five years means we can really concentrate on bringing in other partnerships, knowing we’ve got a very good partnership already.
"I think when supporters see the shirt, they’ll really like it. It’s very traditional, it’s very white and with the Kappa branding as well, I think it looks a really good product."
Ward added: "We’re very pleased and honoured to be associated with the club.
"We’re really looking forward to the re-launch of the Kappa brand back in the UK this year. We want to support the club and the fans as we move forward.
"We came to the table quite late and we were very excited about having the opportunity to put forward our proposal from Kappa.
"When a club like Leeds United – with the ground, the history and the potential for next season – we were so excited and very privileged to use Leeds as our key club as we launch back into the UK."

Leeds and Kappa link up in five-year kit deal

leedsunited.com 16/6/15
Leeds United are delighted to announce a five-year deal with Italian sportswear giants Kappa to become the club’s new kit provider from the 2015/16 season onwards.
The deal will see Kappa supply kits and training wear for the first-team, development squad and all Academy age groups, as well as introducing large-scale branding within Elland Road stadium.
The new 2015/16 Leeds United home kit will be unveiled at an exclusive Elland Road event for Season Ticket holders on Thursday July 9.
The following night will see Uwe Rosler’s side wear the new kit for the very first time in their pre-season friendly at Harrogate Town, before it is officially launched in the Elland Road Superstore the next morning (July 11).
United chairman Massimo Cellino said: “We are very happy that Kappa will be working with Leeds United for the next five years.
“I already appreciate how hard Kappa have worked with us to get things ready for the new season in such a short space of time since they first came to Leeds.
“These are exciting times for everybody. Kappa’s kits have been iconic in Italy for a long, long time and we are hoping to recreate that here in England. I can’t wait for the fans to see the new kit.
“Kappa are a big brand and the right brand for Leeds United. We both have great histories and we are both looking to get to that next level.
“This is another important move for the club and I would like to welcome Kappa here.”
With its global head office in Turin, Italy, Kappa is one of the world’s leading sportswear brands and originates back to 1967, boasting a rich history of participation in all major sports.
The Kappa DNA is rooted firmly in football and the brand is associated with some of the world’s biggest clubs, as well as being known for its premium lifestyle collection in which everything is underpinned by sports.
Kappa is actively extending its international portfolio of clubs and Leeds United are seen as a “fantastic asset” to the brand.
Mark Ward, Managing Director of Kappa UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be working with Leeds United and are extremely proud to be associated with the club and their fans.
“This exciting new partnership is part of the strategic re-launch of the Kappa brand in the UK, with a brand new UK office opened in January this year.
“We look forward to a successful relationship with Leeds United and we’re excited about seeing the new kit on the pitch next season.”

Monday, June 15, 2015

Leeds United: Martyn Glover quickly into the groove at Elland Road

Yorkshire Evening Post 15/6/15
Leon Wobschall
NEW Leeds United head of recruitment Martyn Glover has revealed his delight at linking up with the club - admitting that the move came ‘out of the blue.’
Glover, former head of recruitment at West Ham, has made an immediate return to football at Elland Road after leaving an identical role at Upton Park, where he successfully worked with ex-Hammers boss Sam Allardyce.
Bury-born Glover studied physical education at the former Leeds Carnegie University and worked as a PE teacher for eight years before taking on a full-post academy post with Blackburn Rovers.
Glover worked in a variety of roles at Ewood Park for over a decade, holding a number of positions in recruitment and development with the academy and at the club’s senior training centre.
Latterly in his time at Rovers, he was promoted to head of player recruitment under Allardyce before linking up with him at West Ham in 2011.
On his move to Leeds, Glover told the YEP: “It is nice to get things sanctioned one and for all and I can finally actually start to get on with the job.
“Obviously, things were coming to an end at West Ham and it was about trying to get something sorted and establish where I might be next.
“It came out of the blue (at Leeds) to some extent and it’s a nice opportunity and I am delighted.
“I knew of (executive director) Adam Pearson, without particularly knowing him.
“But I worked with (assistant head coach) Rob Kelly at the academy at Blackburn for four years and we have history together - all good I must add!
“I didn’t know Uwe (Rosler) at all before coming here and that’s new to me.
“But things have been good and in the short time we’ve been together, we have got on well.
“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.”
Leeds moved for Glover after ending their interest in ex-Reading head of recruitment and former Norwich City Steve Head.
Head was poised to take over as the club’s recruitment chief, only for club owner Massimo Cellino to withdraw his offer over Head’s plans to depart on an immediate holiday.

New Head of Recruitment Martyn Glover joins from West Ham

leedsunited.com 15/6/15
We would like to welcome Martyn Glover to Leeds United as the club’s new Head of Recruitment.
Martyn, who arrives from West Ham United, will work closely with head coach Uwe Rosler and will be responsible for all aspects of the club’s scouting and recruitment.
Martyn boasts a wealth of experience and expertise in his role, having spent four years at Upton Park and 13 years with Blackburn Rovers prior to that.
He becomes the latest addition behind the scenes at Elland Road, with club secretary Stuart Hayton also in place after arriving from Liverpool last week.

Leeds United: Darikwa on Whites radar

Yorkshire Evening Post 14/6/15
Leon Wobschall
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.”

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sheffield United boss Adkins plays down link to Leeds United’s Sharp

Yorkshire Post 11/6/15
New Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins is staying quiet on potential transfer targets until he has a chance to assess the current Blades squad.
United return for pre-season training on June 29 and Adkins wants to work with the players on the training ground before making any moves in the transfer market.
Talking to the media yesterday at Bramall Lane, where Adkins spoke to The Yorkshire Post, the former Scunthorpe United and Southampton manager said looking at last season’s statistics gave him some ideas on areas the Blades could improve.
United only scored 66 goals last term, in 46 games, the lowest in the top six. Champions Bristol City netted 96 goals, while Preston North End bagged 101.
The need for a 20-goal-a-season striker has been obvious for some time at Bramall Lane, and former Blades striker Billy Sharp - who has worked with Adkins at three previous clubs in Scunthorpe United, Southampton and Reading - has already been touted with a move back to Sheffield.
“I have looked at the stats (from last season) and off the back of that you can see we didn’t score enough goals, and conceded too many,” Adkins said.
“It’s a case of put the ball in the back of the net at one end, and keep it out at the other end.”
Adkins refused to speculate on Sharp, currently at Leeds United, but it would seem to be a partnership that has worked well previously.
“Billy is a Leeds United player as it stands,” said Adkins. “Yes, I did have him at Scunthorpe - I actually sold him to Sheffield United - and I managed to bring him in at Southampton, where he scored those valuable goals which helped get us to the Premier League.
“I took him on loan for a period too at Reading. He’s a player that I know, a great lad and scores goals.
“But he is a Leeds United football player and I think, just at this moment in time - and I know everyone is going to talk about when are you going to sign a player - it’s better for me to keep my counsel and avoid being linked to players.
“That allows me to ascertain the group of players we have got, and where the finances can be utilised in the correct manner for the players that have become available.”

Leeds United: Redfearn confirms return to former academy role

Yorkshire Evening Post 11/6/15
Leon Wobschall
NEIL REDFEARN has confirmed that he intends to accept Leeds United’s offer of returning to his old job running the club’s academy – and will start work in his former post on July 1.
Back on May 20, the club stated that Redfearn had been offered his position back running United’s youth-team set-up after announcing his departure from the first-team head coaching role at Elland Road by appointing Uwe Rosler.
Redfearn had been considering the club’s offer for the past three weeks – and has now decided to revert to his former role.
When Redfearn became permanent head coach last November, the deal – which was due to last until June 30 – included a clause guaranteeing him that his previous role as academy boss would be available again if Leeds chose not to keep him in charge of the first team for 2015-16.
Redfearn’s contract with the academy is a rolling 12-month agreement, which is understood to only end when one party gives the other a year’s notice.
Redfearn joined the academy at Thorp Arch in 2009 and took control of the youth-team system after former manager Chris Sulley quit the role in 2012.
During his time at the Academy, he has helped bring through a number of talented homegrown players, including Sam Byram, Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt, Charlie Taylor and Kalvin Phillips and was widely praised for his work there.
Despite the acrimony of the final weeks of Redfearn’s tenure of head coach, compounded by a scathing newspaper interview last month in which owner Massimo Cellino accused Redfearn of acting “like a baby” and of being a “weak character”, the 49-year-old is now focusing on a new chapter and the challenges ahead back with the academy.
Redfearn 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.”
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 rest of the academy to know that it does matter.”
“It will be good to continue that and if we can continue to supplement Uwe’s first team and bring some more kids through and he can use them, that it’s good news for everybody.”
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 Redfearn was free to resume his old job.
Pearson was adamant that the offer was a genuine one, regardless of obvious tensions between Redfearn and Cellino, but he conceded that Redfearn’s performance as head coach might earn him invitations to manage elsewhere.
Speaking at the unveiling of Rosler as new head coach 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 had time to think about it.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ex-Leeds MD David Haigh now faces criminal charges in Dubai

Yorkshire Post 10/6/15
Former Leeds United managing director David Haigh will face embezzlement and breach of trust charges in Dubai after a case against him was started in the Middle-Eastern emirate’s criminal courts.
Mr Haigh, the former deputy chief executive of Dubai-based bank GFH, has been held in custody without charge since being arrested on May 18, 2014.
GFH alleges that Mr Haigh, who protests his innocence and claims he was lured to Dubai under false pretences, defrauded it of £3 million by falsifying invoices and diverted money into accounts controlled by him.
Earlier this year, his case suffered a blow when the Dubai courts refused to release funds from his frozen bank account and he was left without representation.
In addition to civil proceedings at the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts, the prosecutor has now started proceedings in the criminal court for breach of trust and embezzlement.
Mr Haigh is understood to be appealing for lawyers to help him on a deferred fee basis as he is currently defending himself in an Arabic speaking Sharia court.
He has lodged a counter claim against GFH, which bought Leeds United from Ken Bates in December 2012, claiming he was lured to Dubai under false pretences and for unpaid salary and bonuses he says are owed to him.
It emerged earlier this year that Mr Haigh, who claims he is the victim of human trafficking, was applying for a private criminal prosecution against two executives from the club’s former owners.
He has lodged an application for an arrest warrant to be issued for Hisham Al Rayes of Bahrain, Chief Executive Officer of GFH, and Jinesh Patel, chief executive of subsidiary GFH Capital.

Leeds challenge excites Erwin

leedsunited.com 10/6/15
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.”

Scottish striker Erwin joins from Motherwell

leedsunited.com 10/6/15
We 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.

Redfearn staying at Leeds United

Yorkshire Post 10/6/15
Leon Wobschall
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.”

Rotherham United pip Doncaster in chase for ex-Leeds United star White

Yorkshire Post 10/6/15
FORMER Leeds United utility man Aidy White has joined Championship rivals Rotherham United on a free transfer.
The Otley-born player, 23, who was freed by his boyhood club last month, has joined the Millers on a 12-month deal, after completing of a medical.
Several rival Championship clubs had enquired about the services of White, who made 111 appearances during his time at Elland Road, where he worked under seven different managers or head coaches in eight years.
A number of League One clubs including Doncaster Rovers had also thrown their hat into the ring to sign White.
Meanwhile, Leeds head coach Uwe Rosler has made his first signing of the summer, bringing in USA under-23 international goalkeeper Charlie Horton on a two-year deal.
The 20-year-old worked with new United goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis at Cardiff City last term, having spent 2013-14 at Peterborough United after arriving in England from the USA.
United are expected to unveil their second summer signng today, confirming a deal to sign Motherwell forward Lee Erwin, 21, on a six-figure development fee.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Meet Charlie Horton: First interview

leedsunited.com 9/6/15
USA Under-23s international Charlie Horton became Uwe Rosler’s first signing of the summer on Wednesday afternoon, penning a two-year deal at Elland Road following his exit from Cardiff City.
Just moments after signing his United contract, Charlie sat down with leedsunited.com to give us an insight into his career so far, how he feels about joining the club and what his ambitions for the future are...
Welcome to Leeds, Charlie. What can you tell us about your career so far and the journey you’ve been on to get to this point?
"I grew up in the States. I was born in London, England, and then my mum moved my sister and I to America. When I was 18, I was going to sign to play at university for a top programme there but I ended up signing a contract at Peterborough.
"I spent a season at Peterborough playing reserve games then, halfway through that season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the job at Cardiff and his goalkeeping coach Rich Hartis brought me in there.
"I went to join Ole and I played there last season. During that season, I got called up for the first time to the United States’ Under-23s team - I’ve got three caps for them.
"I’ve moved on from Cardiff and I’ve come here to Leeds to hopefully kick on and be a part of a first-team environment and really prove myself."
How are you feeling after signing a two-year deal here then?
"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.
"For me, to be a part of that is something I’d love to have on my resume."
When did you first find out about the interest from Leeds?
"I was actually away on international duty. I was out in southern France and I was riding a bike in the gym and I got a phone call. It said ‘Listen, Leeds have come in for you’ and I said ‘Well get me on a plane to Leeds then!’
"It was just a matter of waiting until we were finished over there in France and once that finished up I flew straight here."
How much of a role did our new goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis have in bringing you here? You obviously know each other well from your time at Cardiff...
"The relationship I have with Rich is huge. There were a couple of clubs interested in me in the MLS, a couple here in the UK, and it was ultimately the opportunity to work with the coaching staff here, with Rich and with Uwe, who I think is really hungry, just like the players are, to move up."
Uwe Rosler says you will play regular football for the Under-21s to start off with, but are you hopeful of getting a shot in the first-team and pushing Marco Silvestri for the number one shirt?
"The blessing for me is that I’m only 20 years old so I can still play reserve games in the Under-21s league.
"But, at the same time, Uwe and Rich both know that I want to push Marco and try to lay claim to whatever I can. My job is to continue my development and then hopefully push whoever is in front of me. Hopefully, at some point, I will get the opportunity to show what I can do."
Have you seen Marco play before?
"I saw him play one game - he actually won Man of the Match against Middlesbrough. I was actually watching my friend Lee Tomlin, who was at Peterborough with me.
"I was impressed, he’s a good goalkeeper and hopefully we can both bring the best out of each other."
Has it been a little bit frustrating not to have had that chance to prove yourself in first-team football yet?
"For every goalkeeper my age it’s hard. If you’re not the Thibaut Courtois’ of this world, you’re having to wait until you’re 24 or 25 to really get a look in at any first team.
"For me, it’s been about continuing my development and the areas of my game which need improvement, so when I do get that opportunity and when a manager puts their faith in me, I’m ready to grab it with both hands and not look back.
"I’m hoping to continue that work to get to the point where the gaffer and Rich and the coaching staff come to a decision where they think maybe I am now ready and I can crack on."
Who are your goalkeeping idols?
"Growing up, my absolute, massive idol was Oliver Kahn. I watched him play in the 2002 World Cup and he was kind of like the guy who set me onto goalkeeping. I loved Peter Schmeichel and I really like the way Joe Hart plays as well. Those are my three."
Is it true that Brad Friedel originally recommended you and brought you across to England?
"Brad and I are actually from a very similar area in the States, around Cleveland, Ohio. He was about 30 minutes down the road and he had an academy out there which has since closed. But he saw me there and, before I first signed at Peterborough, I was heading to Spurs with him.
"He had kind of taken me under his wing. I didn’t end up going there but he’s a good friend and he’s a good guy. He’s made a good career for himself."
How much do you know about the squad you’ll be joining at Leeds?
"I played at Peterborough with Nicky Ajose, who I know has been out on loan. I know Nicky but, other than that, I’m just looking to come in and get to know the lads really. I’m hoping to join a group of hungry guys who are ready to take this team back to where it belongs.
"I think through hard work and the work the manager is going to put us through, anything is possible. We’re going to give it a real crack this season."
And what about the head coach Uwe Rosler, have you had much chance to discuss things with him yet?
"I’ve spoken to Uwe on the phone and briefly just now. I think we’re going to meet later to talk some more. From everything that I’ve heard from him and from those around him, this is the place you want to be and this is the club you want to be at. Uwe’s got big goals, as I think he should and as I think anyone at this club should."
What are your first impressions of Elland Road?
"I’m massively impressed. 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."
With the amount of young players we already have in the first-team, is it an exciting time to be joining Leeds for someone of your age? It must give you hope seeing the faith that gets put in the youngsters here...
"Absolutely, and I think it says a couple of things about the club and the ownership that they’re not afraid to push young talent, which for me is huge, especially in my position. I think it’s good because it’ll mean we have a lot of energy and now it’s our job to put that energy in the right places."
There’s still a couple of weeks to go before the players return to pre-season training so what’s next on your agenda?
"I’m going to head back to the States, see the family and get some rest. I’ve been away in Southern France, playing with the USA Under-23s for three weeks. I’ll get some rest and be back here for pre-season. Hopefully I’ll make some appearances with the first team in pre-season and show what I can do.
"From talking to Uwe, I’ll start this season playing with the Under-21s and getting regular games, which is ultimately what a young goalkeeper needs. Hopefully I’ll show what I can do and crack on. I have high goals for myself and so does the club. Hopefully those two can intertwine at some point and we can go forward."

USA youth international Charlie Horton becomes the first signing of the summer

leedsunited.com 9/6/15
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.”

The lowdown on new Leeds United goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis

Yorkshire Evening Post 9/6/15
Leon Wobschall
RICHARD HARTIS has been appointed as the new goalkeeping coach at Leeds United - his second spell at the club.
The 47-year-old previously worked as a goalkeeping coach at United’s academy in the late 1990s before leaving the club in 2000.
Here’s the lowdown on the career of Hartis, who has worked with a number of clubs at home and abroad during his career.
Hartis’ first appointment in the coaching realm in the professional game was with Sheffield United, where he was the youth goalkeeping coach from 1987-1990. After that spell in South Yorkshire, Hartis worked at Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania for six years and was the head coach for the men’s and women’s teams from 1994-1997. In three seasons under Hartis, the men’s team made the NCAA Division II Final Four once and the Elite Eight on one occasions. In 1995, he was voted the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Men’s Division II Coach of the Year.
Hartis returned to England in 1997 to become goalkeeping coach at Leeds United Academy and stayed at the club until 2000, having worked with all academy ages including the reserves. He left Leeds to join former Leeds Academy staff Alan Hill, Steve Beaglehole and Daral Pugh at Leicester City as Head Academy goalkeeping coach.
Hartis remained at Leicester for only one season, before joining Manchester United as Director of Goalkeeping Development and also become Acting First Team Goalkeeping Coach during Manchester United’s double run in 2007-08, working with goalkeepers Edwin Van Der Sar, Ben Foster, Tomasz Kuszczak and Tom Heaton.
Hartis was a key witness in the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ contretemps between former Red Devils defender Patrick Evra and a Chelsea groundsman in a league clash in West London in April 2008.
Hartis worked closely with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United when the Norwegian was reserve-team manager there and he subsequently accompanied him when he took over Molde in January 2011, where he was named as first-team goalkeeping coach - where he remained for three years.
On appointing Hartis back in early 2011, Solskjaer said: “I’ve worked with Richard for three years as a coach and I have just asked him if he’d be interested because we’ve got a good working relationship. I think his methods are very good and he’ll bring something to the keepers and the back four in relation to the keeper. I asked the gaffer (Alex Ferguson) if it was ok for him to come across and he agreed to it.
Solskjaer and his coaching team helped guide Molde to their first ever Norwegian Tippeligaen championship in 2011, which they retained the following season. Molde also lifted the Norweigan Cup in 2013.
When Solskjaer left for Cardiff City in January 2014, Hartis was subsequently appointed as part of his coaching team - alongside Mark Dempsey, Danny Keough, René Skovdahl and John Vik. He left South Wales when the former Manchester United striker was sacked just eight months later with Martyn Margetson being the direct replacement for Hartis.
Since November, Hartis has worked for the Football Association with the England U18 and U15 sides.

Goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis to join Uwe Rosler's backroom staff at Elland Road

leedsunited.com 9/6/15
We can confirm that Richard Hartis will become the club's new goalkeeping coach after agreeing to join Uwe Rosler's backroom staff at Elland Road.
The move will see Neil Sullivan return to his previous role in the Academy, coaching the Under-21s and U18s.
Richard arrives from Cardiff City and, having previously spent 10 years as head of Academy goalkeeping at Manchester United, will bring a wealth of experience to Leeds.
From Old Trafford, Richard made the switch to Norway in 2011, spending three years as part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s backroom staff at Molde, before following the former striker across to South Wales in January 2014.
He has also worked as a goalkeeping coach for England’s youth teams and is currently in Moscow with the national side's Under-18s squad.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Leeds United: Uruguayan World Cup star linked with Whites

Yorkshire Evening Post 8/6/15
Lee Sobot
LEEDS United have been linked with an audacious bid to sign Inter Milan’s World Cup semi-finalist Alvaro Pereira, according to reports in Italy.
The 29-year-old won the 2011 Europa League with Porto and joined Inter for €10 million in August 2012 with Chelsea reportedly unsuccessful with a €20 million bid for his services in August 2011.
But reports in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport suggest the versatile left-sided player is on the radar of Whites owner Massimo Cellino who was reportedly beaten to his signature in January.
The South American instead left Inter to join Estudiantes on loan but the Argentine side have decided against activating their option to buy him outright.
And reports in Italy suggest United have already tabled a bid for the South American who joined Inter after three years at Porto where he won the 2011 Europa League before joining Inter.
Turkish giants Galatasaray are also thought to be interested in the Uruguayan whose time at Inter appears to be over after two loan spells, at São Paulo and Estudiantes.
But Championship outfit Leeds face stiff competition if Galatasaray are interested given that the Turkish side have recently been crowned Super Lig champions, granting them qualification for the Champions League.
Pereira’s parent club Inter finished eighth in Serie A, meaning no European football next term.
Pereira has made some 66 appearances for his native country, highlighted by an appearance in the 2010 World Cup semi-final loss to the Netherlands in which he scored in injury time.
Four years later, Pereira faced England in the second Group game of the 2014 World Cup finals.
Leeds have also been linked with a move for 19-year-old rising star French forward Sehrou Guirassy. Guirassy, who is six-foot-two, has represented France at both Under-16 and Under-19 level and currently plays for Ligue 2 outfit Stade Laval.
Ligue 1 outfit St Etienne, home of former Leeds star Max Gradel, are also said to be interested in his services, Guirassy reportedly said in May: “First, I would like to rise up the ranks in France, joining a Ligue 1 club. After that, I would not close the door on going abroad.”
Leeds have been linked with a host of names this summer, notably QPR midfielder Joey Barton, and also Motherwell striker Lee Erwin who looks set to be one of new head coach Uwe Rosler’s first signings. Pescara’s Icelandic midfielder Birkir Bjarnason is another name strongly linked with a move to United who are also said to be interested in 33-year old Catania striker Emanuele Calaiò and Leicester defender Liam Moore.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Five things for Leeds United to address next season

Yorkshire Post 6/6/15
Leon Wobschall
SO what of the 2014-15 campaign for Leeds United? Just another run-of-the-mill crazy season in the recent history of the Whites - although let’s be honest, there have certainly been a few of late, haven’t there.
The short-lived head coach stints of Dave Hockaday - 70 days - and Darko Milanic - 32 days - have entered Elland Road folklore for all the wrong reasons as did the circus towards the end of the season when six players suddenly declared themselves unfit ahead of the game at Charlton Athletic on April 18.
Not to mention the Steve Thompson affair, the clause in Mirco Antenucci’s contract... Or the barring by the Football League of Massimo Cellino for breaching their owners and directors test. The list goes on.
There was plenty more besides with Neil Redfearn rightly taking credit for steadying the ship in hugely difficult circumstances when the spectre of relegation looking very real at the end of 2014.
For that, Leeds fans will be grateful, although the man in the dug-out next term will not be Redfearn, but former Wigan and Brentford manager Uwe Rosler. Good luck, Uwe.
Here are five things, on the pitch, that Leeds need to address in 2015-16.
1. Several additions to the goalscoring department, not just one.
It was a dispiriting season for United’s forwards and only one, Mirco Antenucci, ended the campaign in double figures. That said, Antenucci was a fading force in the second half of the season and also fell away from many fans affections due to his implication as one of the ‘Charlton Six.’ United’s four central strikers of Antenucci, Billy Sharp, Souleymane Doukara and Steve Morison managed 22 league goals between them last term. Compare that to 2013-14 when Ross McCormack and Matt Smith plundered an combined total of 40 goals. Some difference...
Leeds are, understandably, being linked with several forwards, most notably Motherwell’s Lee Erwin, who is understood to be close to joining. Rosler’s preferred system is an attack-minded 4-3-3, with the emphasis being on pace down the flanks in the attacking third. Goalscoring nous is also a vital prerequisite, but bonafide proven Championship operators of a certain age and type cost money.
2. Keep hold of the family silver in Cook, Byram, Mowatt and Taylor.
Lewis Cook’s recent contract extension was a welcome development, although it also had plenty to do with Leeds covering their bases, call it an insurance policy if you like. It put an extra premium on the prodigiously talented midfielder - if he emulates his first half of 2014-15 with some similarly inspired performances in the next campaign, you can bet your bottom dollar that Premier League clubs will have Cook in their sights in January.
It can take nerve to fend off Premier League advances and all too often in the past, Leeds have cashed in. Given the fact that Cook, Sam Byram, Alex Mowatt and Charlie Taylor have roughly emerged at the same time onto the first-team scene, their development has genuinely enthused United’s scarred support, who have been let down on too many times worth mentioning over the past decade. Massimo Cellino have spoken about keeping the young kids together and building something. It’s essential that he delivers in that respect and that they aren’t just cheap words.
3. Sign Sol Bamba permanently.
Bamba did as much as everyone on the pitch to stabilise matters for Leeds in that key season-defining spell of late winter and early spring, when United pulled away from danger in impressive fashion - it was an uplifting, if ultimately brief, hiatus at Leeds when everyone seemed together as one.
With little or no future at Palermo, Bamba is now waiting for his next step and a return to Leeds, to many, seems a no-brainer - although his criticism of the behind-the-scenes events towards the end of last season were pretty damning ones, if Cellino chose to read them. At least it showed Bamba cares.
In his short time at Leeds, Bamba was also clearly a strong voice on the pitch and in the dressing room and at 30, he still has a few miles left on the clock.
4. Continue to get the best out of Luke Murphy.
One of the key stories in United’s renaissance from January to March was the welcome re-emergence of Luke Murphy, who was brought in from the cold and gradually began to blossom, thanks in no small part to the input of Redfearn and Thompson. Rosler and his assistant Rob Kelly have Championship savvy and will know about the talents of Murphy, who clearly had his confidence knocked in the first half of last season.
Murphy again needs to be encouraged and given licence to express himself and cajoled in the right way. Do that and he can be a big player for Leeds next season.
5. Address the schism between some of the English players and their foreign team-mates.
It is clear that there was some form of divide between some domestic and foreign players in the Leeds dressing room at times last term and it needs a skilful operator to bring sections together again and maybe mend a few fences.
Rosler, as a German with experience of the Continental game alongside his time in England, will need to employ some canny man-management, you sense in this regard. All good sides are built on a strong team spirit and some ice will need to be thawed when some players reconvene for pre-season training - regardless of the fact that it will be mid-summer by then. It needs addressing quickly.

Leeds United: Five things to know about Birkir Bjarnason - the Thor of football

Yorkshire Post 5/6/15
Sam Pollock
Leeds United are closely monitoring the contract situation of Pescara midfielder Birkir Bjarnason who could be set for a reunion with Uwe Rosler.
The Italian outfit 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 has scored 12 times from midfield for Pescara this season helping them reach the Serie B play-off final.
Here’s five things you need to know about Birkir Bjarnason:
1: United head coach Uwe Rosler knows the attacking midfielder very well having worked together at Norwegian outfit Viking between 2006 and 2009. Bjarnason, nicknamed the Thor of football, scored his first goal for Viking against Hamarkameratene (HamKam) and went on to be a key player helping them avoid relegation and then steer them to a third-placed finish in 2007. The 27-year-old made 100 appearances for Viking scoring 16 goals.
2: Bjarnason made his debut for the senior Iceland national side in 2010 and has gone on to become an experienced midfielder with almost 40 caps to his name. He scored his first goal for his country in a 3-2 defeat against France in 2012 and went on to play a crucial role in the World Cup qualifiers helping guide Iceland to the play-off stage. However his efforts were in vain as Croatia won 2-0 on aggregate over two legs to progress to Brazil.
3: Bjarnason has had two spells at current club Pescara having initially joined on a season-long loan deal from Standard Liege in July 2012. The attacking midfielder made 24 appearances and scored two goals. Having spent the year after at Sampdoria, it was announced that the 27-year-old would sign again for Pescara after the club won the co-ownership bidding for the player. Upon signing he was immediately appointed captain for the 2014/15 season.
4: Bjarnason is the second top goalscorer for Iceland in the qualifying round for the 2016 European Championship in France. The midfielder has hit the back of the net twice in five games to help his country reach second place in Group A, only Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored more. They are five points ahead of the Netherlands in third place and only one point behind table toppers Czech Republic who they face at home on June 12.
5: Pescara are on the verge of reaching the Italian top flight having reached the Serie B play-off final. They face Bologna in the first leg of their Serie B play-off final tonight, with the return leg scheduled for Tuesday evening. Bjarnason played a crucial part in the club’s play-off semi-final win over Vicenza, as he scored the match-winning goal. Discussions about Bjarnason’s future are expected to intensify once the promotion fight is settled. His agent, Jim Solbakken, was asked by the YEP if he was aware of interest from Elland Road. Solbakken said: “On that I cannot comment.”

Leeds United: Phillips signs new two-year deal

Yorkshire Post 5/6/15
Leon Wobschall
TEENAGE midfielder Kalvin Phillips has agreed a new two-year deal with Leeds United.
The 19-year-old Leeds lad was offered fresh terms recently and his signature follows on from contract extensions agreed by Lewis Cook, Tyler Denton, Jake Skelton, Luke Parkin and Alex Purver.
Kalvin, an Academy graduate, joined the club at age of 14 and progressed through the ranks at Thorp Arch before signing his first professional deal last summer.
The former Wortley junior was a regular for the Under-21s during 2014/15 and scored six times in his 23 appearances and earned many plaudits along the way with Jason Blunt’s development squad.
Phillips sampled experience in the senior match-day squad and featured as an unused substitute several times before being handed his full debut in the televised trip on Easter Monday to Wolverhampton Wanderers, when United lost 4-3.
Phillips was handed his home bow the following Saturday (April 11) against Cardiff City and memorably found the net on his Whites debut – while also claiming the man of the match award.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Leeds United: Pescara midfielder interesting Whites

Yorkshire Evening Post 4/6/15
Phil Hay
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.
Discussions 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.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Former Leicester City boss Rob Kelly named assistant head coach

leedsunited.com 2/6/15
We are pleased to welcome Rob Kelly to the club as assistant to our new head coach Uwe Rosler.
Like Uwe, who was unveiled two weeks ago, Rob has penned a two-year deal at Elland Road as the club readies itself for the new campaign. Further key additions are anticipated over the coming weeks.
As a player, Kelly represented Leicester City, Tranmere Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burton Albion, before being forced to retire at the age of just 24 due to a back injury which prompted the beginning of his coaching career.
The 50-year-old boasts a wealth of experience in English football and spent 15 months as manager of Leicester until April 2007, as well as having caretaker manager spells at Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and West Brom after initially assisting at each club.
His most recent role came at West Brom and, after assisting former head coach Alan Irvine at the Hawthorns, Kelly took charge of the Baggies’ 1-1 Premier League draw with West Ham earlier this year.
Rosler told leedsunited.com: "I felt that it would be very good to have such an experienced coach like Rob next to me.
"He has been in this league for many, many years. He has been in the Premier League.
"He knows this league in and out and he knows the players in and out. He’s good on the training field.
"I was always looking to bring in somebody experienced who has worked at this level for quite some time – I think that Rob is a very good option.
"I am very happy that he has agreed to join.
"We have known each other for a while and I think it’s a good option for everybody involved.
"I’m happy to hav such an experienced man next to me.
"He’s the second man in command. He will be influential in the day-to-day running of our team in terms of training sessions.
"He will be important in terms of matchdays and he’ll be my close ally."

Massimo Cellino on his ambitions, increasing the wage bill and Uwe Rosler

leedsunited.com 2/6/15
Massimo Cellino has outlined his ambitions for the club and says that he intends to increase the wage bill in order to bring players to Elland Road this summer.
The United chairman, who rejoined the board a month ago following Football League approval, has also spoke for the first time since the appointment of head coach Uwe Rosler.
“People told me Leeds was a sleeping giant, but when I came here, the giant was dead,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mirror.
“So why did I choose Leeds? I bought Leeds because I know they are better than many Premier League clubs.
“I could have bought Premier League clubs for less money than I am spending at Leeds - I want the fans to understand that.
“When we go into the Premier League, we will go into the Premier League to get to the Champions League. We will not go into the Premier League to pay our debts. We will not go into the Premier League to be relegated.”
On the club’s financial situation, he added: “When I first came in, I had to pay £5million just to keep the club going.
“By the end of last season, we had lost £22million. Now the forecast is that we are close to break even.
“We also had big wages last year. Nearly £21m in wages and we had an average age of 29.
"Now we have brought it down to £10.5m, but we have to attract new players, so it will go up to £13m and the average age is now 23.”
Rosler took charge last month after penning a two-year deal at Elland Road, and Mr Cellino says the former Wigan and Brentford boss fits the bill perfectly.
“I wanted someone who is a good, experienced coach in the Championship,” he said.
“Uwe is German, but he knows England and how to get foreign players used to playing here.
“He’s a very well-organised guy. He suits my mentality because I like to have control of everything.
“A coach with good potential can realise his potential if the club is strong to look after him. If you leave him alone too much, it can kill him.
“Why does he have to buy? He should propose [deals to the owner]. That is the big mistake they make in England.
"We have to work together, we share the responsibility. If we choose a player together and we make a mistake, it is our mistake, not his.”

Parkin agrees new one-year deal with Leeds United

leedsunited.com 2/6/15
Young striker Luke Parkin has agreed a new one-year deal with the club.
The 19-year-old, who joined the Academy aged seven, will officially sign his new contract upon returning to pre-season training this summer.
Parkin turned professional back in March 2013 and has been a regular goalscorer in United’s youth teams throughout his time at the club.
The forward featured 27 times for the Under-21s last season and found the net on nine occasions, including a number of match-winning strikes.
Parkin is yet to make his senior debut for the club but has trained with the first team and was with the matchday squad for December’s meeting with Fulham, where he just missed out on a place among the substitutes.
He joins team-mate Alex Purver in agreeing a new deal at the club, as well as second year scholars Frank Mulhern, Tom Lyman and Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who have all accepted professional contracts.

Youngster Alex Purver signs one-year contract at Elland Road

leedsunited.com 2/6/15
Young midfielder Alex Purver has agreed a new one-year deal at Elland Road.
The 19-year-old will officially sign his new contract when the players return for pre-season training later this summer.
Purver, who signed professional terms last July, progressed through the ranks at Thorp Arch and captained the Under-21s for large parts of 2014/15.
The central midfielder featured 21 times for the United youngsters last season and regularly found himself on the periphery of the first-team.
Purver still awaits his senior United debut but he was part of the travelling squad for last September’s Championship visit to Birmingham City.
He becomes the latest Academy product to agree a new deal at the club after second year scholars Frank Mulhern, Tom Lyman and Bailey Peacock-Farrell all accepted their first professional contract offers.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Leeds United: Whites line up alternatives in case Bamba deal falls through

Yorkshire Post 2/6/15
Phil Hay
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 disqualification 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.

Where did it all go wrong for Zac Thompson at Leeds United?

Here is the City 2/6/15
Vincent Ralph
Taking a closer look at a player who left Elland Road this summer after just 13 senior appearances.
When Leeds United announced their full list of released players earlier this year, the likes of Rudy Austin and Aidy White generated the most headlines.
But there was another player whose departure from Leeds deserves a little more investigation in the form of Zac Thompson.
Given how rarely the 22-year-old has featured in recent times it was no surprise to see him move on, but there is still a question to be asked as to where it all went wrong.
After all, the former Everton youth player impressed enough at Elland Road to earn a professional contract back in 2011 and he featured 11 times for Leeds’ senior side when he was just 18.
Considering the amount of times he appeared and the versatility in his play – at various times he featured as a right-back, centre-back, central midfielder and left winger – it seemed Leeds had found a fine young talent.
A loan spell with Bury followed, where he played 32 times, and it seemed with plenty of first-team football behind him he was ready to challenge for a regular starting spot back at Leeds.
But that was as good as it got for Thompson, who featured just once for Leeds in the next two seasons.
Perhaps it was a case of Thompson being a jack of all trades and a master of none, but considering his breakthrough four years earlier, it is sad to reflect on what might have been for a player who now has a lot of work to do to get his career back on track.
Thankfully he has time, but it will always be a case of what might have been at Elland Road.