Steve Evans
Steve Evans is hopeful of holding onto Leeds United's two bright young stars.Getty Images

Leeds United manager Steve Evans cannot say for certain whether Sam Byram and Lewis Cook will still be at the club when the January transfer window closes, but is hopeful the club can hold onto the latter.

Having already signed Liam Bridcutt on loan from Sunderland until the end of the season, Evans is hopeful of adding Norwich City striker Kyle Lafferty to his ranks. The Leeds boss also wants to make a further "two or three" signings as he targets a late play-off chase in the second half of the season.

While there is plenty of focus on recruitment, the club are also bracing themselves for some departures. Byram, 22, is out of contract at the end of the season and has shown no desire to extend his stay at Elland Road. According to the Daily Telegraph, West Ham United are now the favourites to sign him but Evans says they are just one of a cluster of clubs looking to sign the defender.

"I can't say whether he will be there or not [in the Leeds squad when the transfer window closes]. First and foremost the young man has made it clear via his representative that he doesn't want to extend his contract beyond the summer," he told Sky Sports News.

"I have spoken about a couple [of interested clubs] before the weekend and there is a couple more over the weekend, so there are four or five Premier League clubs that would like to get Sam.

"They are good clubs, but it has to be right first and foremost for Leeds United and it has to be right for that young man, who has every attribute to play in the Premier League and I am sure that is what he wants to do."

Bournemouth meanwhile are keen to sign 18-year-old midfielder Cook, the club's brightest young talent, for £5m, according to the Daily Mail.

Evans admits that he would be unable to stand in the way if Leeds owner Massimo Cellino was to sanction the move, but the former Crawley Town and Rotherham United boss is hopeful they can hold onto the club's prized talent.

When asked if he would accept it if Cook was sold in January, Evans said: "Of course. When it gets to the realms of the type of money we would be taking for Lewis there is only one man at Leeds United that can decide and that's the president.

"I was with the president until late yesterday and unless it is completely right for the club he won't be going anywhere."