By Alex Stevens
Leeds target Ashley Fletcher is ready to quit Manchester United and move to Elland Road, according to a report.
The striker’s Old Trafford agreement expires at the end of June and he has left a new contract offer from the club unsigned.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claim Leeds are increasingly hopeful of persuading Fletcher to leave the Premier League giants and join them next month.
Leeds have been keeping a close eye on the 18-year-old striker over the previous weeks, although there is also interest from Barnsley after Fletcher’s starring role in their promotion from League One.
Owner Massimo Cellino is thought to be open to a loan move or a permanent deal for Fletcher, but wants him at Elland Road next season either way after witnessing him score a second-minute opener in the play-off final.
The reported likelihood that the striker will leave one of Europe’s biggest clubs comes after he told the official Manchester United website last week that his “ultimate goal is playing for Manchester United”.
Leeds’ strong interest in Fletcher comes after the club baulked at the £3million price tag slapped on another striker target, Kemar Roofe of Oxford.
Fletcher was loaned out to Barnsley last season, where he scored seven goals in 23 league appearances.
The forward is reportedly keen to continue his development by playing regular first-team football.
He signed professional forms at Old Trafford in 2014 but has yet to appear in a competitive game for his parent club.
Leeds are in the market for strikers after averaging just over a goal a game during the recent Championship season. Mirco Antenucci, who finished the term as second highest goalscorer with nine to his name, was released by the club last month.