By Richard Parks
Leeds United are to table an offer to prolific Hull City striker Abel Hernandez but their pursuits of Carpi spearhead Jerry Mbakogu and Swansea City striker Oli McBurnie are to take a back seat, according to reports.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claim the Championship giants have made Hernandez, 27, their priority centre-forward signing and are drawing up an offer to entice him to Elland Road when his contract expires at Hull this summer.
It is said that United want to secure Hernandez on a free transfer after he snubbed the offer of a new deal at Hull, while they are losing interest in Mbakogu despite having an option to sign him for £3million.
A separate report by the Yorkshire Evening Post explained that the club have been looking at McBurnie but he is also lower down their list of targets as summer plans take a new twist.
Football Insider verdict:
Leeds fans would have been forgiven for thinking all their Christmases had come at once after learning that Hernandez is the A1 spearhead target and Mbakogu is very much a back-up option. There will be disappointment in some quarters that McBurnie is not such a significant target as he appeared a few weeks ago. Supporters had been mostly underwhelmed by the players the club have been strongly linked with signing this summer, with the notable exception of Kyle Bartley, the Swansea defender who had such an impressive season on loan in 2016-17. Hernandez is a big name and a proven performer, someone who will excite supporters fed up with their club landing bargain flops from overseas. Not that Mbakogu qualifies as a bargain at £3million – far from it – but the United faithful regard him as another pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey style punt in the manner of the signings of fellow forwards Caleb Ekuban, Pawel Cibicki and Jay-Roy Grot last summer. Lessons need to be learn by the United top brass. There will be encouragement that Leeds are in the race for the 29-times Uruguay international, but it is by no means certain they can lead it or seal his signature. Hernandez is one of the most attractive free agents available for Championship clubs this summer, possessing a seductive goal return, including a virtual goal-a-game haul of eight strikes from 10 matches for Hull this season. Signing him will prove far tougher than landing Mbakogu or, indeed, McBurnie, although the latter is also in demand. There have been a few twist in recent days in the club’s pursuit of a new striker. Expect a few more to come.