By Tom Blackburn
Leeds’ expected late-window swoop for Ashley Fletcher has been hindered by a striker shortage at West Ham, according to a report.
The Sun claimed on Sunday that the Championship club would revive their interest in the 20-year-old striker, who they tried to sign from Manchester United earlier this summer.
Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Phil Hay corroborated the report on his personal Twitter account, claiming that a Leeds loan move for Fletcher has been looming “for a few weeks”.
But Hay said the potential of a season-long switch is “in doubt” due to a surfeit of injuries to senior attackers in Slaven Bilic’s team.
However, Bilic’s team completed the landmark signing of striker Simone Zaza from Juventus on Sunday morning, which will push Fletcher down the pecking order and could give Leeds a glimmer of landing the youngster by next Wednesday.
Fletcher is behind fellow summer signing Jonathan Calleri as well as injured big-name duo Andy Carroll and Andre Ayew, although he is ahead of outcast Diafra Sakho.
The youngster joined West Ham on a free transfer from United in July after agreeing a four-year contract.
He has since gone on to make his debut for the Hammers and he was picked in the starting lineup by Bilic on Sunday, as West Ham take on Man City at the Etihad Stadium.
Fletcher spent the second half of the 2015-16 season on loan with Barnsley and scored nine goals in 27 appearances, including the first one as the Tykes secured promotion to the Championship with a 3-1 win against Millwall in the play-off final at Wembley.
Leeds have already signed one striker in Marcus Antonsson this summer, as well as attacking trio Hadi Sacko, Kemar Roofe and Pablo Hernandez.
Boss Garry Monk has made 10 senior signings in total since arriving in June, bringing in Luke Ayling, Rob Green, Kyle Bartley, Matt Grimes alongside the attackers.
His most recent signings have arrived this week in the shape of Liam Bridcutt and Pontus Jansson, as Leeds search for a way to fix their early season problems.
In other Leeds transfer news, Garry Monk wants two signings for these positions in the next few days.