By Wayne Veysey

8th Jan, 2020 | 6:30pm

Exclusive: Agent whispers suggest major Leeds signing on the cards

Agents are convinced that Leeds United have a strong chance of signing Che Adams by the January cut-off despite Southampton’s public ‘hands off’ stance, Football Insider can reveal.

United have identified the striker, 23, as their number one target to replace Eddie Nketiah, as first revealed by Football Insider.

A Leeds source has told Football Insider that whispers in agent circles are that the club are well positioned to sign Adams even though an immediate deal is not in sight.

There is a sense that a late-window loan deal for the striker may still be on the cards.

Perhaps tellingly, he remains United’s first choice even though Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl insisted last week at his media conference that he currently has no plans to let Adams go this month.

He subsequently handed the striker, 23, a rare start in last Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup third round win against Huddersfield, albeit in a weakened line-up that did not include main man and top scorer Danny Ings.

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The success of Leeds’ pursuit may depend upon the Premier League club recruiting a new front man before 31 January to complement Ings, Shane Long and Michael Obafemi.

Adams is Marcelo Bielsa’s first choice to replace Nketiah, who was recalled by Arsenal from his Elland Road loan last week.

But Dwight Gayle remains on his radar as a loan alternative for the second half of the campaign despite his high Newcastle United wages.

Football Insider first broke the news of Leeds’ interest in Adams on 20 December and they are in pole position ahead of rival Championship clubs to sign him on loan if Southampton allow him to leave by the 31 January cut-off.

The forward scored 22 league goals for Birmingham City last season before securing a £15million move and a five-year Southampton contract.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club have made an approach to sign Premier League midfielder after manager U-turn.