Leeds United today explained the reasons behind the decision to leave Norwegian international midfielder Eirik Bakke out of their first team plans.

"It is in the club's best interests for Eirik to move on," Shaun Harvey, United's chief executive officer, said. "At the present time Eirik is back in Norway trying, along with his advisers, to find another club before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month.

"He is in the final year of a contract, which in any shape or form, would not be renewed at the end of the season.

"While the level of his salary is in no way his fault, it is preventing the club from moving forward as quickly as we would like. Apart from Gary Kelly, Eirik is the last of the players from the Ridsdale era when players were remunerated very, very well.

"But time has moved on. We no longer have the parachute payment, we are no longer a Premiership club and we have to face reality.

"Eirik has been a great servant to the club and he is not being singled out. Over the last few years Leeds United have been forced to part company with a number of players due to the scale of their wages.

"We have a contract with Eirik which, if he does not find another club, we will have to honour but there are certain parts of it, in particular some appearance related payments which now, effectively, will prohibit him from playing for us in the long run."