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Marcelo Bielsa unlikely to add to Leeds squad before transfer window closes

High-profile signing Junior Firpo came off the bench last weekend.

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Marcelo Bielsa, right, says he is ‘comfortable’ working with the players he has in his squad (Martin Rickett/PA)

Marcelo Bielsa, right, says he is ‘comfortable’ working with the players he has in his squad (Martin Rickett/PA)

Marcelo Bielsa, right, says he is ‘comfortable’ working with the players he has in his squad (Martin Rickett/PA)

Marcelo Bielsa is not expecting Leeds to make any more new signings before the transfer windows closes at the end of this month.

Leeds have added £13.5million defender Junior Firpo from Barcelona and Norwegian goalkeeper Kristoffer Klaesson from Valerenga to last season’s squad.

Jack Harrison’s extended loan deal has also been made permanent, but with regards to further new arrivals, Bielsa admitted the club have been unable to land the right player at the right price.

“It’s not probable that any more signings will be made,” the 66-year-old head coach said.

“I’m comfortable with the players I can count on at the moment. It’s the same group as last year with the substitution of Firpo in for (Ezgjan) Alioski.

“Young players on the fringes have another year of experience. Of course, we have the option to bring another player in, as long as that player is able to challenge the player we already have in that position.

“That means there is a very high cost to this. If (new) players don’t arrive there’s disappointment.

“If there are signings, but they are below the level we already have, there’s also disappointment because they’re not up to the standard.

“The situation is to find players who can overcome the players we already have and at a low price. But a low price also means a ‘high price’.”

Many Leeds fans have been counting on Bielsa further strengthening a squad which finished ninth in their first season back in the Premier League.

The Argentinian’s acceptance that this is unlikely to happen this summer will be seen as a major setback, especially following the opening-day 5-1 defeat at Manchester United.

Leeds have focused on signing some of the country’s top developing talent in recent seasons and that has continued with the arrivals of midfielders Lewis Bate and Sean McGurk from Chelsea and Wigan respectively.

Forward Sam Greenwood and winger Crysencio Summerville were both on the bench at Old Trafford and Bielsa said he had been especially impressed by the latter’s progress.

“He’s one of the youngsters who has evolved the most,” Bielsa said. “This generates optimism, but the most difficult thing (breaking into the first team) is yet to be done.

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“The most important thing is that they overcome the players who are playing in the same position as them.”

Bielsa said he was hoping Adam Forshaw can have an important role to play this season as he continues his comeback from a long-term hip problem.

Leeds could be boosted by the return of England midfielder Kalvin Phillips in their first home game of the season against Everton on Saturday.

“Another week of work means physically he’s better and he’s closer to being in the team,” said Bielsa, who added defender Diego Llorente (muscle strain) aimed to be back in contention next week.

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