{country_name} ↓ TRANS_MENU
Choose your location:
My coverMy coverMy cover

What's happening now?

Login Login with Facebook
Incorrect user or password!

Sports Steve Evans discusses Newcastle and Sunderland's pursuit of Leeds star


According to the Daily Star, the Premier League pair are keen on signing the 31-year-old defender this month and are prepared to pay £2million to land him.

The Ivory Coast international only signed for Leeds in the summer after impressing on an initial loan spell from Palermo at the end of last season.

Bamba was named captain by former Elland Road manager Uwe Rosler, but has since lost his first-place place as Evans prefers Liam Cooper and Giuseppe Bellusci in the heart of the defence.

However, Evans admits Bamba remains a key part of his squad and insists he is unaware of any approach from the Tyne-Wear rivals.

"Sol's a solid member of our squad, he's our captain and he does that job with real professionalism," Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"I'm not aware of any bids for Sol in this window but I can't stop speculation."


16 Points

Sports Leeds United Transfer News: Evans on deals, Newcastle and Sunderland swoop, striker move

Steve Evans says Leeds United do not want to sell any more players in the January transfer window.

Leeds have already sold right-back Sam Byram to West Ham in a £3.7million deal.

And reports have emerged that Sol Bamba could be heading to the Premier League, with Newcastle and Sunderland interested.

Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt and Charlie Taylor have all also been linked with moves away.

But Evans insists no bids have come in for the players.

"Not that I’m aware of," he told Radio Yorkshire when asked of any incoming offers.

"It doesn’t matter, people can like our players and respect our players and make bids.

"I don’t control the finance, the president controls the finance, but I am always asked what I think and at the minute I want to think that I don’t want to lose anyone.

"I want to think we’re going to add, if anything.

"Of course that’s the main group, there’s always one or two that if people come to take them we’ll shake their hand and wish them luck. 

"They’re good players, but not for Leeds United going forward."

The Daily Star claim Bamba has attracted the interest of north east clubs Sunderland and Newcastle as they both scrap for Premier League survival.

The Leeds skipper is reportedly valued at around £2m but has not started under Evans since 2 January.

Evans favours Liam Cooper and Giuseppe Bellusci in central defence.

And it is claimed Wolves are also keen on landing the former Leicester City player, who arrived at Leeds on loan from Palermo last season before making his move permanent in the summer.

Leeds are considering an approach for Toronto striker Luke Moore, who is also being monitored by Sheffield Wednesday and Reading, claim the Yorkshire Post.

Moore, 29, started his career at Aston Villa before moving to West Brom and Swansea before quitting English football in 2013.

He made 14 appearances for Turkish side Elazigspor in the 2013/14 campaign before heading to the MLS.

Wednesday are thought to be eyeing a striker to compete with Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper and Lucas Joao as they maintain their push for promotion.

Leeds, meanwhile, signed midfielder Toumani Diagouraga from Brentford earlier this week - their third arrival of the January window.

2 Points

Sports Steve Evans confirms Leeds pursuit of Everton star

The 29-year-old has managed just 46 minutes of first-team football this season - in the League Cup - and is reportedly keen to find first-team football elsewhere.

The Republic of Ireland international is looking for regular game time to boost his chances of a starting place in Martin O'Neill's side for Euro 16.

And Evans, who yesterday announced the arrival of midfielder Toumani Diagouraga from Brentford, says Elland Road is the ideal place for McGeady should he be open to a Championship move.

“Speaking to Aiden’s representatives, he may have options in the Premier League,” Evans said.

“I do like Aiden McGeady but there has been no further chat with him in the last 10 days.

“But if he were to consider a Championship club then Leeds must be at the front of that thought process - we’re the biggest, most outstanding club in the league."

3 Points

Sports Steve Evans confirms Leeds transfer in place after talks with Massimo Cellino

That is what the Italian club want to do.“It gives Tomas the opportunity to have a discussion and he was free from training this morning to have the discussion.

The Italian arrived at Elland Road in the summer of 2014, but has so far struggled to adapt and is yet to feature for the Championship outfit this season.

And now Evans has revealed Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has already agreed terms with an Italian side to take him on loan for the rest of the season.

The deal will include an option to take him on a permanent basis in the summer.

“The brief I received yesterday evening from the president was that there is an opportunity for Tomas to be going back to Italy on loan basis until the summer with the option to make it a permanent,” Evans told BBC Radio Leeds.

”It is something we do at this club and it is part of their strategy that if they can have a look at him first and then take up the option. That is what the Italian club want to do.

“It gives Tomas the opportunity to have a discussion and he was free from training this morning to have the discussion. I expect to hear from him this evening.”

3 Points

Sports Revealed: Steve Evans has had to have Leeds badges sewn into his old training kit

The plus-size boss took over from Uwe Rosler at Leeds in October.

And while the former Rotherham manager has had to deal with the eccentricities of crazy Elland Road owner Massimo Cellino, he has also had a more embarrassing problem.

The Daily Star report Evans was left red-faced when he arrived at Leeds to discover the official club tracksuits were not big enough to fit him.

It is added Cellino contacted official kit suppliers Kappa in Italy to request some extra large training outfits be made especially for his new manager.

However, none were forthcoming leaving Evans to get the Leeds kit man to attach the club badges to his old Rotherham training gear. 

A source said: "The manager can't seem to fit into the official Leeds training gear.

"So he's using his old stuff and has got someone to attach Leeds badges to it so it looks like the original stuff all the rest of the coaching staff wear."

Leeds have become a laughing stock under Italian chief Cellino, who was disqualified as club owner after failing the Owners & Directors Test on the same day he hired Evans.

The former owner of Cagliari has been banned twice by the Football League due to convictions for tax evasion in his homeland.

And he has also been accused of undermining Evans by waltzing into the Leeds dressing room at half time during games to give his views on selection and tactics.

Evans has enjoyed a good start to life at Leeds and got one over his old club with a 2-0 win against Rotherham in the FA Cup on Saturday.

1 Points

Chris Evans on new Top Gear format: 'I don't want to see the next incarnation'

Evans, 49, will take the helm of the BBC show from May after replacing long-serving trio Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, who will go on to front a new Amazon car series.

Speaking in the US, Evans told car lovers that he did not "want to see the next incarnation of Top Gear" as he revealed he would still be watching "the old show" if it had not been taken off air.

He said: "If you want to promote a movie, we're not going to ask about the maid you had an affair with. We're going to ask you about cars."

The future of Top Gear was thrown into doubt last year after the BBC announced it would not be renewing Clarkson's contract.

His co-presenters Hammond and May then quit the show after refusing to carry on with Clarkson, while executive producer Andy Wilman also jumped ship.

Evans described how Top Gear was left reeling from a "sort of Armageddon" in the production offices with only one "lone warrior" - producer Alex Renton - remaining from the original crew.

He said: "Everybody had left. There was an Armageddon issue, this apocalyptic issue."

Evans continued: "We have a huge audience. I don't want to see the next incarnation of Top Gear, I want the next show."

The former TFI Friday presenter will be joined by former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard, racing driver Sabine Schmitz and motoring journalist Chris Harris when Top Gear returns for its 23rd series.

However, Evans admitted it will be hard to recreate the on-screen chemistry between Clarkson, Hammond and May.

He said: "It was brilliant, there's no denying it. If the old show had never been taken off I'd still be watching it."

Evans went on to describe taking on Top Gear as "the biggest job I've ever had in my life" as he confessed to still being "terrified" about fronting the show.

Top Gear was shown in 214 countries last year and is believed to have raked in £150 million for the BBC.

The series will start on May 8, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

2 Points

Sports Leeds' Steve Evans has surpassed expectations and outlived the Elland Road life expectancy

The fourth official Michael D'Aguilar will be receiving medication for a sore right ear today.But so far so good - Evans is 15 games in as Leeds manager and counting.

When Steve Evans was appointed the trigger-happy Italian's sixth head man in his 21 months at Leeds United back in mid-October, it was touch and go whether he would make it to Halloween.

The unheralded Evans's appointment, in succession to former East German international Uwe Rosler, was greeted with derision as a sure sign that Cellino and his marbles had parted company and proof that a once-great club had gone to the dogs.

The seat once filled by Don Revie had been handed to a roly-poly Glaswegian with a managerial CV encompassing Stamford, Boston, Crawley and Rotherham and a rap sheet including a 12-month suspended sentence for tax fraud.

There was almost an element of dark comedy about his arrival. Three months on, with Leeds unbeaten in eight matches and in the fourth round of the FA Cup, Evans is winning over more and more of the doubters with each week that passes.

A nominee for December's Championship manager of the month, Evans can look forward to today's draw with excitement after Saturday's 2-0 win over Rotherham.

"Any Leeds United manager would want the lowest-ranked team left in the tournament at home or one of the big giants of English football. They could come and play another giant, couldn't they?" said Evans.

"I've yet to experience one of those days where there are 36,000 inside Elland Road. The place has been rocking with less but let's have it really rocking. That would be the preferred choice for me."

Leeds were no world-beaters on Saturday - if Rotherham had not been hamstrung by the attacking bite of a tortoise they could have made the fourth round draw for the first time in 14 year - but, against his old club there was a sense of self-satisfaction for Evans over the key goal.

The angled net-buster just before half-time came from debutant Mustapha Carayol who had only arrived at Leeds on loan from Middlesbrough a couple of days before.

If it was a magic strike by the well-travelled Gambian international for his 10th English club, it was also a magic touch by Evans to recruit him.

Evans has played the loan market shrewdly with the extension of Liam Bridcutt's loan period from Sunderland giving Leeds a decent distributer in midfield. But the concern for Evans must be that Cellino, who likes to do the deals himself, decides to cash in on talents like Sam Byram or Lewis Cook in this window.

"We've offers in excess of £30million on the table for our players. If it was one player I would probably get the orders to drive them wherever it was but it is different players. I was with the president on Friday for a coffee and we're not selling anyone as we sit here today," said Evans.

Rotherham manager Neil Redfearn, one of Cellino's ex-head coaches at Leeds, knows all too well that today and tomorrow can be very different under the Italian.

Redfearn was refused a parking pass by the Leeds owner in November when he took Rotherham to Elland Road for a league game that they won 1-0.

Evans had suggested before Saturday's game that he borrow Mario Balotelli's camouflage car to ensure he got in.

To watch his sporadic explosions in the technical area, it is something of a concern as to whether blood pressure or Cellino will get to Evans first. The fourth official Michael D'Aguilar will be receiving medication for a sore right ear today.

But so far so good - Evans is 15 games in as Leeds manager and counting. In Cellino's books that is gold watch territory.

3 Points

Sports Leeds Transfer News: Evans on Byram and Cook futures, Stoke bid, Norwich stall on Lafferty

He's in a slightly different position," Evans said."He's admired by some coaches in the league above and one or two of those coaches have had conversations with the president. I asked," Evans revealed."He's someone that many managers and coaches like but my understanding is he's not available."On 20-year-old Grealish, the boss said: "Very similar to what we said about Crouch.

Steve Evans insists Lewis Cook will not be sold in the transfer window - but Sam Byram's future at Leeds United remains unclear.

Cook, 18, is subject to a reported £5million bid from Premier League side Bournemouth.

The midfielder is said to have caught the eye of Cherries manager Eddie Howe, who is keen on signing players in order to boost their survival chances.

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino yesterday explained that he didn't want to sell Cook and, ahead of Saturday's FA Cup third-round clash with Rotherham (3pm), manager Evans confirmed the club's resolution.

"There's no doubt there's very solid interest in Lewis Cook," Evans said.

"I had a strategy meeting with the president yesterday and Lewis Cook is simply not going anywhere. There is no more conversations to have about Lewis Cook.

"The president is in receipt of some offers, yes.

"He's always said to me that we get into real discussion if he has a view of accepting it and what we do with that money.

"But it was very clear when I sat down with him that he had no interest accepting either of them.

"Every player in the world is for sale. Some clubs may say they're not but they are.

"(Cook) is not going to be sold in this window."

Another Leeds academy product, Sam Byram, has also attracted the attention of Premier League scouts.

Byram, 22, has not signed a new Leeds contract and his current deal expires this summer.

The right-back is free to discuss pre-contract terms with other sides ahead of a free transfer, with Leeds getting compensation.

But the club believe they can cash in on Byram now and potentially earn around £8m for their ace, with Evans confirming a deal could be done but later in the transfer window.

"Again there is a lot of interest in Sam. He's in a slightly different position," Evans said.

"He's admired by some coaches in the league above and one or two of those coaches have had conversations with the president. But that's still a long way off from anything concrete from happening.

"As a head coach you're very fortunate to work with so many gifted players as we've got. Decisions on whether we sell a player lie at the door of the president.

"It's always been said to me that is has to be right for Leeds United if players are to be moved on and it has to be right for the player.

"We are a long way from anyone leaving the football club as we sit here now."

Leeds have already extended the loan agreement of Liam Bridcutt this winter and are expected to sign a striker before the window closes.

Kyle Lafferty is Evans' top priority but the manager revealed negotiations with Norwich have stalled.

"I think it's no secret that, as has been said, we want it on a loan deal with the option of a permanent deal.

"Norwich respectfully say they want it to be permanent. We are not going to be doing it in a permanent basis initially.

"We want to, if it's possible, bring the player here but it's proving very difficult and if it proves not to be the case then we're not only thinking of Kyle Lafferty but there are other strikers we are talking to.

"There are other options and if that happens the Kyle Lafferty interest will suddenly drop off."

Evans has also enquired into the availability of Stoke City striker Peter Crouch, as well as Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

The manager is keen to sign both men of loan but confirmed neither Premier League side are willing to offload their men.

"My understanding is that Peter Crouch is not available. I asked," Evans revealed.

"He's someone that many managers and coaches like but my understanding is he's not available."

On 20-year-old Grealish, the boss said: "Very similar to what we said about Crouch. I'm led to believe by Aston Villa that he's not (available) for loan."

2 Points

Sports Leeds United boss confirms timeline for signings as Cellino reveals Byram is for sale

The Whites are in discussions with a number of clubs regarding January transfer targets.

Norwich City's Kyle Lafferty appears to be Evans' top priority but the boss confirmed Leeds are struggling to agree terms with the Canaries.

Leeds have also made enquiries into Stoke striker Peter Crouch and Jack Grealish of Aston Villa.

But Evans says fans should not expect any arrivals until after the FA Cup third-round weekend.

"The difficulty we have is before the weekend, there are fringe players at the top of the Championship and in the Premier League, and I think we've seen a lot of Premier League managers this weekend saying they're going to be changing their teams," Evans said ahead of Leeds' home FA Cup clash with Rotherham (3pm Saturday).

"So some of the lads we are keen on bringing here are going to be involved this weekend so that stops anything happening before Saturday but things will start to progress from Sunday onwards very quickly."

Evans also revealed he has discussed January targets with club owner Massimo Cellino, but that the Elland Road outfit won't be held to ransom over transfer fees.

"You have to be patient and you have to get value for money.

"We've asked about some players who, because it's Leeds United picking up the phone, suddenly some other clubs think there's some extra cash there.

"But that's not going to be the case. We come up with our intended targets, discussed them and we attach to that what we believe is the value.

"At the minute they exceed those values and you have to be strong and walk away. This football club has been guilty like many others in the past of putting themselves in trouble.

"The one thing the president has done here is put some terrific prudence into the club. It's in great shape so we need to make sure that continues and at the same time balance it with players who will help us."

Meanwhile, Cellino has told the Daily Mirror that Byram's exit is expected.

Byram, 22, could leave on a free transfer this summer when his contract expires.

Leeds believe they can get around £8million for the ace and Cellino explained he is ready to cash in.

“We just want to sell Byram because he wants to leave," Cellino said.

“It is better to lose him now. It is less painful for the club.”

1 Points

Sports Leeds United eye new targets after shock bid for Aston Villa ace Jack Grealish

Leeds are one of a number of Championship clubs reportedly keen on signing the Villa midfielder.

Grealish was forced to train with the club's development squad before Christmas after being photographed on a night out in Manchester, hours after a 4-0 loss at Everton.

Villa manager Remi Garde has brought the 20-year-old back into the first-team squad but he has since started just one game.

Leeds boss Evans believed he could land the ace, who has declared he is available for England selection after representing Ireland at youth level, but explained the pursuit was over.

“I’ve been told by Villa that he’s not available and won’t be leaving," Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

However, Leeds are reportedly keen on a number of signings - although they will have to wait until after the FA Cup third round to get deals done.

“There’s a full programme of midweek Premier League fixtures next week so a lot of clubs will use fringe players this weekend,” Evans said.

“We’ve had conversations where people have said ‘come back to us Sunday, Monday.’ That’s the sort of player we’re looking at so I’m prepared to be patient.

"I spoke at length with the owner (Massimo Cellino) on Tuesday night, until about 10pm, and we know what we want to do.”

Leeds are reportedly eyeing a bid for Stoke City striker Peter Crouch and midfielder Nathan Dyer, who is on loan at Leicester from Swansea.

The boss is also expected to wrap up Kyle Lafferty's arrival from Norwich in the coming weeks.

1 Points