By Alex Stevens
Leeds have opened talks with West Ham over a deal to sign Ashley Fletcher in the January transfer window, according to a report.
The Sun claim the Yorkshire giants have reignited their pursuit of the striker after failing in a bid to lure him from former club Manchester United in the summer.
It is said that manager Garry Monk has earmarked Fletcher, 21, as the forward to spearhead Leeds’ promotion charge in the second half of the season.
Leeds’ money men have given Monk the green light to spend on Fletcher in what would be a permanent transfer.
The Sun report that Leeds have yet to agree a fee for the United academy product and that West Ham could ask for around £2million for the player.
Fletcher has made 13 appearances for West Ham this season but has been restricted to just 418 minutes of action and scored a single goal.
He is contracted to the Premier League club until the summer of 2020 but is behind the likes of Andy Carroll and Diafra Sacko in the striker pecking order.
Fletcher was an unused substitute in the Hammers’ 1-0 win over Hull on Sunday after playing the final seven minutes of the midweek triumph over Burnley.
Football Insider verdict:
Fletcher would be a brilliant signing for Leeds. He is young, talented, mobile and has already proved that he has an eye for goal. The Yorkshire outfit lost out in the race for him in the summer but they have more to offer a burgeoning prospect now following their against-the-odds rise to the play-off spots. Fletcher would provide a direct option who could stretch Championship defences and allow Leeds to be lethal on the counter-attack. Push through this deal, and Leeds could go all the way to the top flight.