By Will Butcher

Leeds could be beaten by Derby in their attempts to sign Middlesbrough forward David Nugent, according to a reliable journalist.

The Sun claimed the 31-year-old, who is massively out of favour with Aitor Karanka’s Premier League new boys, is being targeted by many Championship clubs but wants to move to Leeds.

However, Sun correspondent Alan Nixon revealed on his personal Twitter account that Steve McClaren’s Derby are closing in on a move for the Championship goal machine.

Leeds are looking to sign a striker this month, with Nugent reportedly on their radar as manager Garry Monk looks to share the goalscoring pressure currently placed on Chris Wood.

Swedish ace Marcus Antonsson has failed to prove his worth following a £2million summer move, while Souleymane Doukara is currently being deployed on the left flank.

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Nugent could be the man to end Monk’s striker chase, but the former Swansea boss will have to move quickly with Derby closing in a move for the one-time England international.

Known for his goalscoring prowess in the second tier of English football, Nugent has scored 103 goals in 306 Championship appearances for the likes of Leicester, Portsmouth and Preston.

Football Insider verdict:

Signing Nugent would be a massive boost to Monk as he targets a Premier League return for Leeds for the first time since their financial collapse in 2004. New Zealand international Wood has been relied upon to provide Leeds with their goals this season, scoring 16 goals in 28 league and cup appearances this season. However, bringing in Nugent could drive Wood on to improve his form even further by providing quality competition. With a demanding Championship season entering its second half, injuries are likely to occur and bringing in Nugent would provide proven experience in the second tier. Leeds should move quickly in case they lose out to their Championship rivals.

In other Leeds transfer news, this reliable broadcaster has posted an update in Leeds pursuit of another Premier League forward.