By Craig Scott

7th Jan, 2022 | 3:40pm

Phil Hay shares what he knows about Leeds United hunt for new midfielder in January

Victor Orta is guarding his shortlist very closely with The Athletic journalist Phil Hay reporting that he’s unsure who Leeds United will sign this month.

Leeds have already completed one deal with young Spanish striker Mateo Joseph Fernandez joining from Espanyol earlier this week [4 January] but it’s widely expected that the Whites will also add to Marcelo Bielsa’s midfield options before the January transfer window closes.

Ex-Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Hay says he would be shocked if Orta and Bielsa didn’t sign a midfielder this month but as of right now, he’s unaware of who’ll be coming in.

When asked who Leeds are working on signing this month, Hay told The Phil Hay Show podcast: “Do you know what? It’s very, very quiet at the moment. I can’t answer that – I genuinely don’t know who it is they’re going to go for. They guard their list very closely.

“It’ll all come to pass as it does but I would be very surprised if they [don’t] do anything which it’s certainly shaping up for players to come in and those have been the signals we’ve been getting.

“I’d be very surprised if [Orta] doesn’t concentrate on the midfield. It just is the obvious place.”

Stumped

Leeds cannot afford to wait around in this transfer window.

Due to COVID-19, it may take a while to get a player to jet in from abroad if that’s the route they choose to go this window.

And, more importantly, they need to try and get their business done with at least a week left of the window in case anyone they sign gets a positive COVID test.

If that happens and their period of self-isolation runs past 31 January, it means that they won’t be able to undergo a medical with the club.

It could cause all sorts of problems so while we’re being impatient and moaning that no one looks close to being added to the midfield, we just hope that Orta, Bielsa and the rest of the staff are working hard behind the scenes and keep their business under wraps.

It is better that way and as we’ve seen with Leeds over the last few years, they can get their business done very quickly if they need to.

We may hear a player get mentioned in the press by someone who’s a respectable source and then 24 hours later, he’s at Thorp Arch holding a scarf and signing a contract.

Let’s hope that’s the case because dilly-dallying at this point will harm our chances of avoiding relegation this season.

In other Leeds United news, Dharmesh Sheth has shared an update on Leeds’ pursuit of a midfielder with one deal already wrapped up.