The writing is on the wall for this senior Leeds duo after Monk decision
By Editor Wayne Veysey
If the writing was not already on the wall for the Leeds careers of Ross Turnbull and Toumani Diagouraga, it has not been etched in indelible marker.
The composition of Garry Monk’s 18-man matchday squad for Monday’s FA Cup tie at Cambridge made it clear that there is no scenario in which the senior pair will be brought in from the cold.
Both have been frozen out out of the senior set-up since the start of the season and forced to train with the youth team.
Monk gave five players the night off on Monday – Liam Bridcutt, Charlie Taylor, Luke Ayling, Pablo Hernandez and Hadi Sacko and – as he gave them a breather ahead of Friday’s key Championship clash against Derby.
Despite filling the bench with first-team regulars and making eight changes to the side that had beaten Rotherham in the league a week previously, there was still no olive branch offered to goalkeeper Turnbull or midfielder Diagouraga. The die has been cast and there was no reprieve against the League Two side.
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For the good of their careers, they now have little option but to follow Luke Murphy out of the Leeds exit door during the January window.
The Yorkshire giants announced on Friday that Murphy had agreed Championship rivals Burton on loan for the rest of the season after being given the cold shoulder by Monk for the first half of the campaign.
Turnbull, 32, and central midfielder Diagouraga, 29, must also instruct their agents to find them new clubs this month.
Monk wants new blood, although in the attacking areas of the pitch rather than where the senior pair play, and his vision of the future does not include the former Chelsea player or the man prised from Brentford during the last January window.
Goalkeeper Turnbull is in the final six months of his Leeds contract while enforcer Diagouraga is tied to the Championship club until the summer of 2018 after his arrival from Brentford 12 months ago.
There contract situations are immaterial to their chances of playing, which are an emphatic zero.
In other Leeds transfer news, the club are in advanced talks to sign a Bundesliga assists machine.