Evans rules out Leeds selling Cook, Taylor or Mowatt

Rob Conlon
Steve Evans: Does not fear for his Leeds United future

Steve Evans insists Leeds United will not sell promising youngsters Lewis Cook, Charlie Taylor and Alex Mowatt this month.

The trio have attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs and have all entered into the final 18 months of their contracts.

Leeds have a history of failing to tie down their most promising players, and earlier this month sold right-back Sam Byram to West Ham, but Evans is adamant that won’t happen with the talented trio.

“It’s not the time during a transfer window when people are speculating to go and say we’ll do X, Y or Z with them but people are misguided if they don’t think there are conversations going on with the representatives of those players. That will take the course it takes,” Evans said.

“Given the size of the bids we’ve had they’d have left already at most clubs. The president’s been outstanding and kept those players. He’s confided in me about the some of the bids and I’ve thought ‘wow’.

“I sit here and not for one second do I think about of our exciting youngsters will leave this club in this window.”

Having already brought in Liam Bridcutt, Mustapha Carayol and Toumani Diagouraga this transfer window, Evans remains keen on adding further additions to his squad.

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino told Sky Sports more signings are “unlikely”, but former Rotherham boss Evans is refusing to rule anything out.

Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic and Norwich striker Kyle Lafferty have been linked in the past, though these deals appear to have hit stumbling blocks.

“If the president says there’s no more signings then there’ll be no more signings but the words I heard attributed to the president was ‘it was unlikely’. It was unlikely a week ago that we were going to sign the boy from Brentford (Diagouraga),” Evans added.

“He takes control of the financial situation so he knows how near we are. When he says it’s unlikely, he may feel that one or two things are slipping away from us. We’ll see where we go.

“Unlikely could be just a stage of negotiations rather than what actually happens. The president was still working (on a deal) on Tuesday night. Sometimes you make a bid and it’s not quickly accepted.

“My understanding is that we’ve got negotiations going on on several fronts. The president knows what stage they’re at and if he thinks it’s slipping then it would be unlikely.”

Meanwhile, out-of-favour Leeds midfielder Tommaso Bianchi is on the verge of joining Ascoli, while Mirco Antenucci wants to return to Italy but any move could be blocked as the Whites are short on strikers.