Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa insists he would not stand in the way of any player who asks him to leave – but reveals there were other factors that prevented Crysenncio Summerville from departing Elland Road in the January window.
The January window proved a difficult month for Leeds to get any business done. Indeed, with Cody Drameh the only player to depart, the Whites also failed to add to their ranks. Indeed, two big-money bids for Brenden Aaronson – both of which were knocked back – were the closest they came.
Leeds were also in the market to sign a new winger. Indeed, both Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino and Kenedy of Chelsea were subject of failed United bids.
Leeds had moved for both players in light of strong speculation suggesting Netherlands U21 winger Summerville wanted out.
Indeed, with SV Hamburg holding talks over a deal, Summerville went as far as asking Bielsa to leave.
Now Bielsa has come clean on those talks and revealed why the transfer failed to go through.
“He spoke with me and he told me he wanted to leave. I told him that would not be a problem,” Bielsa revealed, via Leeds Live.
“The reason why I said this to him is if a player who has pretty frequent participation with the first team, not necessarily coming on, but contemplated frequently, asked me to leave, for me that reason is sufficient.
“For any player that tells me they want to leave, I would answer: no problem, I’m not opposed to you leaving. But what is the reason he wants to leave? I don’t analyse if it corresponds or not, simply not wanting to be here is sufficient. That’s a sporting position.”
Leeds put their foot down
Bielsa, though, revealed that the transfer broke down after Leeds put their foot down.
“After the club has a different look on it because the players sign contracts and have obligations,” he said. “They sum up to economic value and I don’t have the power to decide contractual or economic problems.
Leeds interested in shock Chelsea transfer
Leeds United want to sign Kenedy from Chelsea to help their squad depth issues
“In the case of Summerville, there were 10 players in a similar situation and all the subjects were treated the same way.”
Bielsa added: “When a player signs a contract he is saying he wants to belong and it’s legitimate he does not want to belong anymore. It’s a possibility and it’s right it’s that way.
“By limiting the power of my position, all the players know if they want to leave I’m not going to stand in their way. I only have part of the decision.”
Bielsa questions who made Summerville situation public
Bielsa was then asked about who are the other 10 players he mentioned in the same position as Summerville.
The Leeds boss, though, refused to provide more details but did question how and why the situation with Summerville made it into the media.
“The desire of someone not continuing, nor my position, if you don’t want to be here then what sense does it make to stay
“And of course with all of this being made public, it’s no good for anybody. It’s not good for me, not for Summerville, not for Leeds.
“But you have to see and understand the footballing world to know who made it public and what are they looking for when they make it public.
“I’m not accusing anybody or demanding any behaviour, that was wrong.
“What I’m saying happens at every club constantly. And as it’s made public I have the responsibility to tell the truth. What I can’t answer you is who the other 10 are. The last thing I want is this to be commented on.”