As Wednesday came around the majority of Leeds fans were sat furiously refreshing the home page of the official site, twitter feeds and various news websites waiting for Neil Warnocks ‘retained list’.
Nobody was really expecting anything other than the obvious fringe players being told they could leave, then rumours started breaking that Adam Clayton had been transfer listed.
Why though? Nobody could understand it. Clayton had been one of the standout players in a disappointing season, a bright spark in the dark times. Then, when Warnock explained how we couldn’t match his wage demands, it all started to make sense. Some fans, with seemingly short memories, turned on Clayton, labelling him as greedy, too big headed for the club and almost instantly decided that he was never that good after all. The rest knew exactly what Warnock meant. The story sparked feelings of deja-vu, with the recent transfer sagas of Bradley Johnson and Jermaine Beckford fresh in the mind.
What is important to remember is that Clayton signed from Manchester Citys youth academy, meaning that he will not have commanded a particularly high wage (rumoured to be around £2,000 per week), so considering how he had been a first team regular for the entire season, you could understand why he may feel entitled to a rise in wages. Ken Bates stirred the pot by claiming one player had requested £15,000 per week in negotiations, though Clayton then tweeted to deny it was him.
Oddly, no contract offer was ever made to Clayton, which may say more than words ever could. In terms of contracts at Leeds, it may be worth letting Shaun Harvey take a backseat over the summer, as if this is a demonstration of his negotiating skills it could be a frustrating transfer window.
In regards to incoming players, Jason Pearce finally became Neil Warnocks first signing of the summer, signing a four year deal at Elland Road, and his signature was well received by the fans. His second signing may not be too far away if you believe the rumours that are seemingly always flying around Leeds these days. One that may be a little too good to be true is that Leeds have bid one million plus Adam Clayton for Jermaine Beckford and Matt Mills of Leicester, which would be a real ‘Championship Manager’ type transfer bid.
As expected, the Jermaine Beckford rumours have been gaining momentum, with speculation claiming that Beckford has been placed on the transfer list. It was also stated that he was absent from the Leicester end of season awards party, which could indicate his future does not lie with the foxes.
All in all, it’s been a week that has ended with more questions than answers in regards to the future at Leeds. On the one hand we’ve signed a young, hungry, up and coming player with potential, yet on the other we seem more than happy to let one go.
I for one wouldn’t be surprised to see Adam Clayton rubbing shoulders with Jonny Howson and Bradley Johnson in the Premier league next season, two other players who were not deemed worth the money by Bates and Harvey.
Perhaps more worryingly, they were also never replaced.