By Alex Stevens
Leeds are targeting Premier League duo Peter Crouch and Kyle Lafferty as they step up plans to strengthen their forward line in the January window, Football Insider sources understand.
Manager Steve Evans has made a new striker a priority as he attempts to steer the Championship club into a play-off place.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that former England international Crouch and Northern Ireland’s Lafferty are two who are in Evans’ sights.
Crouch, 34, has slipped down the pecking order at Stoke and has not started a Premier League match this season but he still has 18 months remaining on his contract and his wage demands could push him out of Leeds’ reach.
A loan deal for long-time target Lafferty is more realistic and Evans hopes to take advantage of his lack of game time at Carrow Road.
Norwich are trying to buy a new striker in January and are likely to allow Lafferty to leave if they can bring in a new spearhead for manager Alex Neil. As revealed by Football Insider, they have already had a bid rejected for Sampdoria striker Eder.
Leeds made it six games unbeaten on Tuesday night, drawing 2-2 in an entertaining clash with Derby at Elland Road.
The result leaves the Yorkshire giants nine points adrift of the play-off places, but ten points clear of the relegation zone, and the signs are that former Rotherham boss Evans is making real progress at the biggest club outside of the top flight.
Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds on Tuesday night, Evans disclosed that he had received a text from a top-flight player stating that he wants to sign for the club in the first few days of the January window.
“Well I had a player, who’s in the Premier League now, text me an hour before the game saying ‘Good luck, I hope I’m with you next week’,” Evans explained. “So from a playing point of view, he wants to be here.
“We just have to make sure that his club sanctions that deal, because I know for a fact that we’re trying to do business with them, so it’s whether we can get the deal over the line.”