Larsson and Smith rumours persist

Last updated : 21 January 2004 By Martyn Elliott

The Evening Chronicle has a new twist on the Larsson story, claiming that Freddy Shepherd will begin talks with the Celtic striker’s representatives before the end of the week, in a bid to persuade him to sign a pre-contract agreement.

In the past ten days the Swedish star has now been rumoured to be definitely signing for us, not coming to England, signing for Barcelona, not signing for Barcelona, considering retirement, refusing to talk to clubs until his contract at Celtic runs out and preparing to open negotiations with us.

So who knows whether there is any truth in this latest report?

The situation with regard to Smith is even more confusing though, with Leeds’ players having apparently told the club’s directors that they’d rather see more squad members leave Elland Road than accept a wage deferral.

With only Paul Robinson and Smith likely to raise any money, they seem likely to be made available at bargain prices.

One press report even went as far as to suggest that some of the other players had actually asked Smith to leave, to help them avoid having to take a wage deferral, and that he had reluctantly agreed to consider it. Frankly, that seems a little far-fetched though.

One thing is clear though and that is that the speculation over the past couple of weeks that Shepherd has already made a bid for Smith is totally untrue.

It seems that Smith will only become a Newcastle United player if Leeds go into administration or offer him to us at a very reasonable price in the next week.

Leeds fans have had some good news today though, with woeful Peter Reid loan signing Roque Junior indicating that he wants his contract to be cancelled.