By Dave Woods

2nd Aug, 2019 | 1:02pm

Bielsa coy on signings before the summer window closes

Marcelo Bielsa took his first press conference this lunchtime but if he was expecting to focus purely on his first game of the season against Bristol City on Sunday, he was mistaken. 

News of striker Kemar Roofe potentially leaving to join Anderlecht dominated the headlines this morning but Bielsa said he couldn’t give an update on the striker leaving and was unclear about the current situation.

“I’m not sure what will happen,” Bielsa said.

Bielsa was also quizzed about Bailey Peacock-Farrell and he said he hadn’t tried to get him to stay, saying that if a player thought he was better off somewhere else, so be it.

If Leeds fans were hoping to hear news of replacements they were disappointed, with Bielsa coming out with the normal line that he would be happy to see new arrivals if they improved his squad.

“If there are five that improve the squad, then five. If they’re not better then we will not sign any more,” Bielsa said.

There was news about Kalvin Phillips, with Bielsa saying there had been a lot of speculation about the player. The manager was full of praise for him, though.

“Kalvin is showing us you can be a big player, a good player and at the same time respect values, that is very difficult to find,” Bielsa said.

He went on to say that you couldn’t be a professional player if you chased money but that if you were a professional player, the money would come.

“I am proud if Phillips stays here. I choose him in the 18-man squad, but I cannot decide if he is to stay or leave. Kalvin is in the squad.”

This might not be the full ‘He is staying’ commitment that fans would have wanted to hear but Bielsa made it pretty clear how important he is to the squad. Losing Phillips at this late stage of the window would be a real body blow to the manager, to the club and to the fans.