By Harvey Byrne

Manager Garry Monk has refused to comment on Leeds’ reported bid for striker Rudy Gestede, claiming “it’s all speculation.”

Sky Sports north east reporter Keith Downie claimed on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday that Boro had rejected a bid worth £5million for the Benin international with Monk wanting to keep hold of the 28-year-old.

Now, on Thursday Monk neither confirmed or denied that the report was true, or untrue.

However, Monk did say that he is now focused on strengthening on what he believes to small squad and that the players are all committed to the club who suffered relegation from the Premier League last season.

“It’s all speculation, so I don’t really have to answer on it,” said Monk, when questioned specifically about Gestede, as quoted by the Northern Echo.

“You can see from the performances of all the players that the attitude and commitment to what we’re doing is clearly there.

“Those guys are showing that, and we’re focused as a group. It’s more about the couple of positions where we need to strengthen the squad because we’ve had a lot of outgoings and we’ve got a much smaller squad than before.

“That is by design, but it’s about strengthening in those couple of positions to make sure we have what we need.”

Leeds are currently on the search for a new striker after the sale of star Chris Wood to Premier League side Burnley for a £15million fee.

It is plausible that Gestede, who moved to Middlesbrough for £6million in January from Aston Villa is being considered.

However, the powerful frontman has also got three years remaining on his contract in the north east and has played in each of Monk’s side’s opening five games of the 2017-18 campaign in all competitions.

In other Leeds transfer news, a Championship club believes they can tempt the Whites to sell this first teamer.

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