Transfer Deadline Extended

Last updated : 29 August 2003 By Kevin Markey
The 26-year-old has been in talks with manager Reid and chairman John McKenzie over the last two days as they seek to tie up a 12-month deal before the transfer window closes.

Premier League officials have extended the deadline from midnight Sunday to 5pm on Monday which should help United's frantic efforts.

Milan's offer of assistance could prove to be a deciding factor in clinching what would be a major coup for the club but there remain other significant obstacles in the way.

One is thought to be the fact that Leeds will indeed to apply for a work permit for the player despite the initial understanding that Roque had a Portuguese passport and would not require international clearance.

Roque has only a Brazilian passport and an application to the Home Office will need to be submitted before Monday.
Leeds would then have to wait in hope that the clearance is awarded before the player can make his debut for the club. The system can often take weeks to clear.

Reid has been working round the clock this week in an attempt to freshen his squad up with new talent.

Cameroon international Salomon Olembe is close to completing his loan switch from Marseille but is awaiting the results of a final medical before the deal can be completed, while a number of other names are understood to be on a list of targets.

The frustration for the manager is that he must release players to free up the wages before bringing in new players.

Danny Mills's move to Middlesbrough has enabled the bids for Olembe and Roque but other players will need to leave if any of those other targets are to join.

Paul Okon was in talks with Italian Serie B side Vicenza last night about the prospect of a loan deal but the club are unable to afford his wages and may ask a reluctant Leeds to help them out.

With no interest as yet for the likes of Mark Viduka and Paul Robinson – the only ones likely to leave for money before Monday – the only other player with a possible exit is Ian Harte.

There have been a few enquiries about the Irishman with Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp still thinking over a move. He, however, has yet to follow up with a firm offer and he is also in talks with Charlton over the prospect of signing Paul Konchesky.

While Viduka has been watched by a number of scouts from European clubs, no bid has yet been made with Leeds and the nearer the deadline draws the less likely they are to accept such an offer.

Prof McKenzie and the board do not want to sell such a key player at the last minute and thus reduce the strength of the squad without giving Reid the chance to replace him.