The “will he, won`t he?” future of Kyle Lafferty was mentioned again on Thursday and once again, it was Leeds United manager, Steve Evans who was doing the talking.
Talking at length with BBC Radio Leeds, Evans spoke about his transfer ideas in depth, now that the Emergency Loan Window is open but insisted that he was only interested in players who he has a chance of keeping at Elland Road after the summer – in other words, permanently.
‘The emergency loan window is something we’ll look at but it has to be players that are going to be part of building a team for next season’ Evans said.
‘Now it would be simple in many respects to go and sign a player on loan and say we’ll help you get fit for the European Championships. Or we sign a couple of gifted young players from the top four or five current clubs in English football.
‘But that’s not helping our plan going forwards. Our plan is maybe if we can identify players whose clubs are willing to let players out on emergency loan which the club is either ready to give us a right to buy him or set an agreed fee and the player has agreed to go on beyond the summer.’
The player that has been spoken of time and time again in the same breath as Leeds, is Kyle Lafferty.
Laffs is effectively frozen out of the first team picture at Norwich and doesn`t even seem to be in the frame for game time in the Development squad. Northern Ireland`s talisman and his International manager, Michael O`Neill have both spoken of the need for Laffs to be playing regularly ahead of Euro 2016 in the summer and although he had the chance of a loan move to FC Sion in January, the player himself turned that one down.
Evans though, says that unless he can take Lafferty on a loan with a view to a permanent move in the summer, it won`t be happening.
‘Well there won’t be a point because it won’t happen (Kyle Lafferty signing to get fit for the Euros). It’s a case of we would have to be agreeing, if it was Kyle, and I don’t know if Alex Neil has changed his plans with Kyle, if it was the case that Kyle was available to come to us that we can agree to take him on beyond the summer. We would very much be at the table.
‘But unless we can agree that first we’re not going to bring someone for eight weeks. That really is not building a team.’
I can agree with Evans’ point of view entirely. If he has any aspirations of getting Leeds promoted then he has to build a team to do that. Short term loans won’t achieve that for him, although I rather suspect that Leeds United’s valuation of Lafferty falls short of Norwich City’s, otherwise it’d already be done.