Leeds have two loan replacements lined up as £20m bid incoming for Wood - report
By Harry Sykes
Leeds United have lined up Aston Villa’s Ross McCormack and Hamburg’s Pierre-Michel Lasogga as possible replacements for Chris Wood, according to a report.
The Mail claim that the Championship big hitters are braced for an improved bid of £20million from Burnley for Wood, the division’s top scorer with 27 legue goals last season.
Football Insider revealed on Saturday morning that Burnley were one of three Premier League clubs to have tabled formal bids for the New Zealand international made up of an initial £12million, plus £2million of add-ons.
The Mail claim Burnley manager Sean Dyche is “undeterred” and has sanctioned a new offer for Wood the like of which Leeds have not fielded since their Premier League glory days.
Manager Thomas Christiansen insisted on Monday that the Yorkshire giants will not cash in on their main striker this month.
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But the Mail report that Villa forward McCormack and Hamburg front man Lasogga are primed to join on initial loans.
Radio Yorkshire head of sport Derek Clark added some fresh intrigue to the saga of Wood’s future on Monday night when he reported on his personal Twitter account that the likelihood is that the club will need to offer him far better terms to fend off the interest.
Clark claimed he had been told by a “very reliable source” that the contract the Kiwi signed when he joined from Leicester in 2015 is worth £8,000-a-week.
I reckon #LUFC will need to negotiate a new deal for Chris Wood to keep him at the club…I’m told by a v reliable source he’s on £8k a week
— Derek Clark (@derekclarksport) August 14, 2017
Wood’s future is in doubt after his sensational 2016-17 campaign, in which his goals nearly catapulted Leeds into the play-off places.
The 25-year-old began the new campaign where he left off in 2016-17 with a goal in Leeds’ opening day 3-2 win against Bolton, although he was unable to follow up with another in Saturday’s goal-less draw against 10-man Preston.
Wood is under contract at Leeds until the summer of 2019.
Football Insider verdict:
Leeds are facing a major dilemma. With Burnley prepared to go big to land Wood – the type of big Leeds have not experienced since they were selling off the crown jewels a decade-and-a-half ago – the club can cash in on their main asset, have a massive pile of cash and pull in a few striker loan deals to act as a sticking plaster in the hope of securing the promotion that would enable them to climb aboard the Premier League gravy train. This potential plan reeks of short-termism and a massive gamble. Wood is a proven Championship scorer with his peak years ahead of him. Yes, McCormack and Lasogga have impressive track records but they both had horrible 2016-17 seasons. Can they still cut it? Will they deliver the goods in 17-18?
In other Leeds United transfer news, Football Insider can exclusively reveal that Thomas Christiansen is lining up a move for a centre-back who is highly regarded and is captain of his club.