Noel Whelan says signing Watford striker Andre Gray this month would be a real “statement of intent” for Leeds United.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds forward says the Hornets star would be a “fantastic” addition to the squad at Elland Road if the club can afford him.

As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, the Whites made an enquiry over signing the 28-year-old on loan this month but feel as though the Premier League side are pricing the striker out of a move.

Whelan says that Gray is exactly the sort of player Leeds need to be bringing in this month but that the board need to realise it will require a hefty outlay to get them on board.

“If it’s Andre Gray then fantastic. I’m not going to grumble about that, he’d be a fantastic signing,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“He’s pacey, powerful, it’s not worked the way I’m sure he would have liked at Watford but if he is available and he wants to come to Leeds United and he wants to help us win promotion, then fantastic.

“The club need to be realistic that if you’re going to go for a player like that, it’s going to cost you money. If you’re going to be serious contenders and put out a statement of intent, that’s the sort of player you should be looking at.” 

Gray has scored just two goals in 18 Premier League appearances for Watford this season, only seven of those outings coming among the starting XI.

Patrick Bamford is the only senior striker at Elland Road, the former Middlesbrough man missing a penalty against QPR in a 1-0 defeat on Saturday afternoon.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED the club are holding talks over signing a promising striker this month.