Reliable journalist posts Leeds striker back-up plan after Fletcher blow
By Alex Stevens
Leeds have no alternative striker plan in place after losing out on their bid to sign Ashley Fletcher from West Ham.
Hammers manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed that Fletcher will not be leaving the London Stadium on deadline day.
It comes after the Mirror transfer blog (Monday, 7.02pm) claimed Leeds were in pole position to land the West Ham fringe striker this month.
Radio Yorkshire journalist Joe Rawson, who is a reliable source of Leeds information, took to Twitter on deadline day to respond to the Fletcher situation.
He reported on his personal Twitter account that he was “not aware” of Leeds being “interested in” any other strikers this month, although he added that “things change fast” on the final day of the window.
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— Joe Rawson (@joerawson) January 31, 2017
Leeds have been at the mercy of West Ham, who were strongly pursuing a new striker throughout January but it emerged on Monday night that Bilic had called a halt to plans to sign Scott Hogan from Brentford.
It is a huge blow to Elland Road manager Monk, who has reiterated on multiple occasions this month that he wants a new striker to provide cover for main man Chris Wood.
The spearhead is the second leading scorer in the Championship this season with 17 goals, and has netted 20 in all competitions, but there is a concern about the calibre of back-up if he suffers an injury or a loss of form.
This comes in addition to the club’s pursuit of Villarreal winger Alfonso Pedraza, who completed a medical at their Thorp Arch headquarters on Monday night.
Leeds have not yet signed any new players in the January window and Monk made the case for reinforcements following Sunday’s humiliating FA Cup exit to non-league Sutton United.
Football Insider verdict:
West Ham’s decision to pull the plug on their Hogan pursuit has major ramifications for Leeds, who have been patiently waiting for the Premier League club to land a new striker and then give the green light for Fletcher to leave. Unless West Ham can recruit another forward before Tuesday night, it appears that Leeds’ pursuit of Fletcher has reached a dead end. Monk will hope that the Elland Road chiefs can pull a late cat out of the bag.
In other Leeds news, there has been a finale in a major deal after a £7million Leeds bid was tabled.