Leeds United boss Brian McDermott has accepted the fact he must balance the books at Elland Road, but a new centre-back remains an urgent priority.

With the transfer window set to slam shut on September 2, McDermott is desperately looking to bring in one more summer recruit that will add strength to his side's back-line.

With only two known central defenders - Tom Less and Jason Pearce - the manager has expressed his concerns and continues to identify a possible signing.

McDermott, 52, has been linked with Manchester United's 21-year-old Scott Wootton and Bolton's Matt Mills, but knows he must cut the wage bill before he can bring in new faces.

"I'm trying," McDermott told the Yorkshire Evening Post. "We've got, for example, two young centre-halves playing all the games because we've only got those two. We've got a number of left-backs but no wingers. We are short in areas."

Despite having the bare minimum, the former Reading manager has paid tribute to his players for their winning performances over Brighton and Chesterfield in the Championship and League Cup respectively.

United will be looking for a third straight victory when they travel to Leicester City on Sunday.

"We've been without Rudy Austin, El-Hadji Diouf and Sam Byram and they're big players for us but we've won the last two games and dug out results," McDermott added. "I'm trying to do what I can with the players I've got and they're doing great."

United will be looking to get back in the top flight for the first time since the end of the 2004 season.


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