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Leeds captain set to depart as promotion ambitions dwindle

| 18.01.2012

Leeds remain within touching distance of the Championship play-off places, but one must wonder how long that will be the case, with a lack of ambition becoming increasingly evident at Elland Road.

Controversial chairman Ken Bates has won few fans at the Yorkshire club, ramping up ticket prices and authorising the sales of key assets such as Max Gradel and Bradley Johnson over the summer.

His latest move is sure to upset the supporters to an even greater extent however, having accepted an undisclosed bid from Norwich for Leeds-supporting club captain Jonny Howson.

The tireless midfielder is a lynchpin of the side, providing guile and drive in a midfield that has missed some since Johnson’s Carrow Road departure in July.

He now appears certain to link up with his former midfield teammate in East Anglia though, joining a host of other players desperate to make a Premier League impact having impressed at a lower level previously.

Simon Grayson, who has found himself under pressure from some sections of the Leeds support in recent weeks, appears to have his hands somewhat tied in terms of players leaving the club.

Although Grayson has managed to bring new players in this term, the majority have been loan signings or have arrived on free transfers, despite a fee in the region of £6m being received for Gradel only a few months ago.

Rumours also continue to persist that Robert Snodgrass could too be heading for the exit door at Elland Road.

Wigan are keen to snap up the Scottish winger to aid their survival bid, and the loss of a player of his calibre could see Leeds slip further away from the play-off places, enhancing their promotion odds yet further.

It is sure to be an interesting atmosphere at Elland Road this Saturday, where Leeds are 8/11 to overcome 4/1 strugglers Ipswich.



John Klee