Leeds United director of football Victor Orta says the club are close to confirming the signing of a "big surprise" player from Asia, following a summer in which they brought in 23 new additions. Thomas Christiansen has revamped the West Yorkshire club with a flurry of new charges since being installed as Garry Monk's replacement at the end of last season.
The likes of Samuel Saiz, Ezgjan Alioski and Pawel Cibicki have arrived at Elland Road since the club narrowly missed out on a play-off place last term. The Whites' last appearance in the Premier League came back in 2004 and Christiansen is charged guiding the club back to the top flight in owner Andrea Radrizzani's first campaign at the helm.
Despite the English transfer window having closed on 31 August, Leeds have continued staging an overhaul with one eye on the January market. The club scoured various corners of the globe in an effort to improve their squad, with players arriving from Ghana, Macedonia and Morocco, but Orta has hinted the club are looking to Asia for their next recruit.
He said during a Q&A with Leeds supporters on Facebook: "Obviously we are watching players around the world – Australia have really good talent so why not? It's true we make a prioritisation – France, Italy Spain and the UK market, which for me is the priority.
"But we have a special group of scouts that watch the countries with lower leagues perhaps like Pawel Cibicki of Malmo in the Sweden league. And we are near to signing a big surprise from Asia.
"We are watching a lot of players in places like Australia and these are the secondary leagues where you can find a good talent. We make a good balance of the two with the UK market our priority with our knowledge and capacity to watch players."
It was not just the first team squad at Leeds that benefited from a mass recruitment drive in the summer, with the club's academy having been supplemented by arrivals from abroad. As many as seven players have arrived from the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, and according to academy manager Adam Underwood this is just the start.
"This has been a really productive summer for the club at every level and we are now in a position to attract players from across the world as well as having a keen focus on the UK and particularly Yorkshire," he told the Leeds official website. "We are excited to try and progress players to the first team and we hope to continue our tradition of producing young footballers for our first team."