By Danny Wright

29th Aug, 2017 | 1:35pm

Leeds identify proven English goalscorer as Wood replacement, valued near-£20m - report

By Danny Wright

Leeds have identified Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle as their replacement for Chris Wood, according to a report.

The Daily Star claims that Gayle, 27, has been deemed surplus to requirements at St. James’ Park but the Magpies would only want to cash in on him if they manage to pick up £18million and find a suitable replacement before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Wood, 25, signed for Burnley for £15million last week, meaning that Leeds would have to muster up more than what they received for the Kiwi target man if they wanted the ex-Crystal Palace star.

Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Lee Sobot reported on his personal Twitter account on Tuesday that the Whites are not looking at signing Gayle and it is perhaps down to the demanded valuation of near-£20million.

Hamburg’s Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Malmo’s Pawel Cibicki are said to be the two most likely strikers to join Leeds in the coming days, but Gayle would have no doubt been a top addition to the side due to the proven goalscoring capabilities he showcased last season.

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The English striker scored a stunning 23 goals in 34 Championship appearances last term – a record that was only bettered by Wood.

Football Insider Verdict

Strikers are constantly being linked with Leeds and that will be the case until all of their money is spent on bringing one or two new forwards in to fill the big void left by Wood. Gayle would no doubt be a massive addition to Thomas Christiansen’s squad, but at £18million, he is simply too expensive. Lasogga and Cibicki are both more realistic but unfortunately a lot more underwhelming. That’s not to say they won’t do well, they’re just not proven goalscorers in the English game like Gayle is. The Magpies forward has had issues with injuries recently and that is perhaps another good reason as to why the Whites do not want him at this stage in the window.

In other Leeds news, the Whites have made a last-gasp decision their pursuit of this Championship hitman – but it’s not Rudy Gestede.

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