Leeds boss Jesse Marsch still in hunt for striker ahead of transfer deadline

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Leeds head coach Jesse Marsch has not ruled out signing a new striker before the transfer window closes next week.

Seven players have been added to Leeds’ first-team squad this summer, but they missed out on their top target earlier this month when Club Brugge’s Charles De Ketelaere opted to join AC Milan.

Wolves’ Hwang Hee-chan is the latest in a list of strikers to have been linked with the Yorkshire club and, with lingering fitness doubts over Patrick Bamford, their search is still not over.

Marsch said: “Striker, yes. How likely it is is dependent on how things play out and what availabilities are of players.

“We certainly don’t have a surplus of big amounts of money to go out to spend and bring in a huge transfer.

“But I think we’ve done a good job of evaluating players that are of high interest to us.

“Then we’re waiting to see and having good communication with different clubs and agents and players to see if there might be flexibility and what their contracts are and what their situations are, (so) that we can still add a quality piece to what we’re doing.”

Bamford missed most of last season through successive ankle and foot injuries and a groin strain ruled him out of Leeds’ last two matches.

In his absence, Rodrigo’s impressive goalscoring form has eased the pressure as Leeds continue to evaluate their strength in depth.

Marsch said: “I want to be fair to Andrea (Radrizzani) because, for me, he’s committed in every way to every request that I’ve had since I’ve been here. So we’re just operating within a budget that is defined.”

Rodrigo will aim to add to his four Premier League goals this season on Saturday when third-placed Leeds play at fifth-placed Brighton.

If Bamford is available, he is likely to start on the bench as Leeds aim to extend their unbeaten three-game start.

They followed up last Sunday’s 3-0 home win against Chelsea by beating Barnsley in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday after making nine changes, but Marsch remains firmly grounded.

“If you take one second to think that you’ve achieved anything, then the next opponent can come and just clean you up,” he added.

“So we really respect Brighton. They’ve obviously had a great season last year, they’ve made some good additions, they have a wonderful manager and they’ve had a really good start to the season.

“So we know that our focus and attention exactly to this challenge will be the most important thing.”

Skipper Liam Cooper is in contention for his first league appearance of the season after an Achilles injury, but Marsch is expected to revert back to the line-up which started against Chelsea.

Meanwhile, Leeds and Barnsley were charged by the Football Association with failing to control their players during the midweek cup tie.

An FA spokesperson said: “It is alleged both clubs failed to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 67th minute and they have until Thursday (September 1) to respond.”