Leeds boss Brian McDermott distances himself from free agent David Bentley

David Bentley is a free agent after being released by Spurs. Photo: PA

Boss Brian McDermott has distanced Leeds from speculation linking the club with a move for David Bentley.

Free agent Bentley, 29, is still without a club having been released by Tottenham at the end of last season.

Reports over the weekend linked Leeds with the former Arsenal, Blackburn and Tottenham midfielder but McDermott insists he already has enough cover in Bentley's position and he will not be signing players just for the sake of it.

"You can't take someone just because they are an easy deal," McDermott told the club's official website.

"We've got Ross McCormack in there and we've got El-Hadji Diouf in there, and they are similar players.

"I think David Bentley is a good player, but they're here and in that mould and the last thing you want to do is stockpile players in the same position. That isn't right.

"If I'm going to bring a player in it has to be one who can make a difference to us, there's no point in signing a player for signing's sake.

"I spoke to the owners and have said that to them that I won't do that. It might have happened here in the past, but I'm not going to do that. We're working with the players we have.

"We're always looking to improve the squad, but I never mention names. It's just complete speculation (in the media).

"In (the owner's) words he said if a player becomes available who can make the difference he will support me. We had a good conversation and I think it's important I keep the board in touch with what I want to do."

As Leeds prepare to head to Newcastle in the third round of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night, one of their biggest problems this season has been a lack of goals.

The Whites have scored just seven in the Sky Bet Championship and are still searching for an adequate replacement for Luciano Becchio who was sold to Norwich in January.

Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Burnley was their third loss in the last four games.

Matt Smith at least gave McDermott's men some punch when he got off the bench to nod in an 80th-minute goal, but either side of that Rodolph Austin, McCormack, Dominic Poleon and Luke Varney all floundered in and around the box.

McDermott, who reports have also linked with bringing Becchio back to the club, added: "I have five strikers here, I'd like it that they catch fire and get the goals we need. Trying to find a striker that can get you the goals and one who can come here at this moment in time isn't easy.

"We need someone to grasp the nettle and take up the responsibility of scoring.

"We haven't scored enough goals, especially at Elland Road. It's a worry because someone has to try and take that responsibility.

"I said to the players, the worst thing that can happen has happened - they lost. That's it. I give them the license to make things happen."

Leeds will monitor Sam Byram and Lee Peltier ahead of the trip to the north east.

Byram made his first start since April against Burnley following a hip injury but was feeling sore when he was withdrawn after an hour, and Peltier missed the defeat with a groin problem.

But a third full-back, Stephen Warnock, will be available after sitting out at the weekend through suspension.