By Alex Stevens
Leeds United are in the running to sign Marley Watkins from Barnsley this summer, according to the latest bookmakers’ odds.
Ladbrokes have placed odds of 9/1 on Leeds signing attacking midfield dynamo Watkins from their Championship rivals.
The betting company make Cardiff (2/1) the favourites to sign the 26-year-old, ahead of Swansea (4/1), Bristol City (5/1), Aston Villa (6/1) and Sheffield Wednesday (7/1).
Intriguingly, Leeds are also tipped as a possible destination for the right wingers, who has been one of the outstanding players in his position in England’s second tier this season.
The Yorkshire giants have been overly reliant on Championship leading scorer Chris Wood for goals this season and there has been a dearth of goals and creativity from their wide men Hadi Sacko, Stuart Dallas, Souleymane Doukara, Kemar Roofe and on-loan Alfonso Pedraza.
London-born Watkins has made a huge impression at Barnsley since joining from Inverness in the summer of 2015.
The former non-league player has provided considerable evidence of his late blooming by ripping up the Championship with 10 goals and nine assists in 39 league matches this season.
Football Insider verdict:
Whether Leeds are in the Championship next season or secure a stunning return to the Premier League, they need more goals and creativity from their wide men. Sacko, Roofe and company are all useful performers, but get a nose bleed when they are close to the goal. An injection of dynamism and goalscoring instinct is needed from the wings, and Watkins has showed that he has those kind of qualities. His goals and assists from attacking midfield are what Leeds have been crying out for all season.
In other Leeds United transfer news, the club are eyeing a stunning triple transfer swoop as three players headed into the training ground.