By Wayne Veysey

30th Jan, 2017 | 8:48pm

Report: Approach made as Leeds battle PL club for striker, names club in pole position

By Alex Stevens

Sunderland have joined Leeds in the race to sign Ashley Fletcher from West Ham, according to a report.

The Mirror transfer blog (Monday, 7.02pm) claim David Moyes’ side have made an approach for the Hammers fringe striker.

Despite the emergence in the transfer battle of a Premier League club, it is said that Leeds are convinced they are in “pole position” to land Fletcher.

This comes 24 hours after the Mail reported that the the Premier League striker will make a move from the London Stadium to Elland Road before the transfer window shuts on Tuesday night.

Fletcher, 21, has been on the fringes of the West Ham team since joining last summer on a free transfer, with most 13 of his 16 appearances coming as a substitute.

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Leeds have not yet signed any new players in the January window and Garry Monk made the case for reinforcements following Sunday’s humiliating FA Cup exit to non-league Sutton United.

However, it has been widely reported that the Championship promotion hopefuls are on the verge of signing Villarreal winger Alfonso Pedraza on a loan-to-buy deal.

Monk also wants striker cover for leading scorer Chris Wood, whose 20 goals in all competitions this season is 15 more than closest challenger Souleymane Doukara.

Football Insider verdict:

Fletcher would be better off joining a club aiming to enter the Premier League rather than one in danger of leaving it. Moreover, at Sunderland, he would once again find himself down the pecking order. For Andy Carroll at West Ham, read Jermain Defoe at the Stadium of Light. Yes, Leeds have a prolific spearhead of their own in Chris Wood. But the Yorkshire giants desperately need cover for their main man and Fletcher also offers the mobility and pace to get in behind defences, something that is not Wood’s main forte.

In other Leeds news, there has been a finale in a major deal after a £7million Leeds bid was tabled.

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