Reliable journalist: Leeds will need to hand new deal to keep 25-year-old, he's on just £8,000-a-wk
By Harry Sykes
Leeds United will need to offer Chris Wood a much-improved contract to keep him at the club amid growing interest from Premier League big guns.
Manager Thomas Christiansen insisted on Monday that the Yorkshire giants will not cash in on their main striker this month.
Football Insider revealed on Saturday morning that three Premier League clubs have now tabled formal bids for the New Zealand international.
Brighton and West Brom have joined Burnley in making offers which were each worth £14million, made up of an initial £12million, plus £2million of add-ons.
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.
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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
By the standards of many Championship players, Wood’s reported salary is quite low, especially taking into account his achievements last season.
Wood banged in 30 goals in all competitions, including 27 to make him the top scorer in the Championship.
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:
Wood’s salary is not only small by Championship standards, but miniscule in comparison to what he could earn in the Premier League., where the average player earns £46,000-a-week. The Kiwi would only be human if he looked at Britt Assombalonga’s reported £60,000-a-week deal at Middlesbrough and thought, ‘Why am I not earning that?’ Players have short careers and must maximise their earnings while they can. Christiansen might be right in saying Wood could join a top-flight club and be second or third choice, but he also deserves a deal that reflects his ability and influence at current market rates. Clearly, he currently does not have that at Leeds.
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.