By Dominic Toner
Leeds are interested in Exeter youngster Ollie Watkins, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the Whites are eyeing the 21-year-old forward and are preparing a summer raid.
It is understood that manager Garry Monk wants to strengthen regardless of whether they are playing in the Championship or Premier League next season.
The report details that Leeds are keen to take a chance on lower league players and will face competition from several other clubs for the Exeter ace.
Watkins has been a sensation in League Two this season and is helping Exeter push towards a play-off spot.
The forward has been a regular starter at the age of 21 and been one of the standout players in the division.
He has made 38 appearances this season across all competitions, scoring 14 goals and supplying 11 assists in return.
Leeds have had their own star striker in Chris Wood leading the line for much of the season, but Monk is keen to bolster his options in the summer.
Football Insider verdict:
Watkins has proved over the past two seasons that he is too good to be playing in League Two and is certainly destined to play at a higher level. The 21-year-old has been prolific in front of goal and it’s understandable that Leeds are eyeing the highly rated youngster. He is improving each season and everything appears to be in place for him to make the step up. Monk is showing a desire to take a chance on young players this season, something that sits very well with supporters. However, Watkins may not be the kind of signing the Whites should be eyeing if they obtain promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs. Leicester’s Jamie Vardy is the obvious example that players can make the ultimate step up, but Leeds may be better served chasing a proven top-flight goal scorer if they get promoted. Watkins is certainly a player for the future and would need to be patient if he completed a move to Elland Road.
In other Leeds transfer news, Sam Byram is set to be offloaded by West Ham.