By Harry Sykes
With Garry Monk making it clear that he is in the market for a new striker this month, reports have centred on a renewed Leeds pursuit of West Ham’s Ashley Fletcher.
The Yorkshire giants have been strongly linked in recent weeks with landing the 21-year-old forward after losing out on signing him from Manchester United last summer.
The Sun reported that Leeds have already opened talks with West Ham about a deal in which Fletcher would join permanently in the winter window.
Leeds would have hoped that they would be aided in their pursuit of the fringe forward by West Ham’s determination to land a proven goalscorer this month.
Sunderland goal machine Jermain Defoe, Celtic’s Moussa Dembele and Brentford’s Scott Hogan have all been subject of strong interest from Slaven Bilic’s side, paving the way for Fletcher to leave if a deal can be sealed.
But Leeds have been struck by a potential transfer hammer blow amid a report in the Sunday Mirror that Fletcher could be used as a makeweight in West Ham’s pursuit of Hull’s Robert Snodgrass.
It is said that the London club are preparing a second bid for attacking midfielder Snodgrass made up of £2million in cash plus Fletcher in part-exchange.
West Ham’s desire to land former Elland Road hero Snodgrass, and seeming unwillingness to submit a major cash offer for a player who has turned 29, threatens to wreck Leeds’ plans to land their central January striker target.
Fletcher, who Leeds came close to signing from United last summer, has been a fringe player for West Ham so far this season, with most of his 15 appearances coming as a substitute.
It has been reported that the east Londoners are expected to allow him to move elsewhere if they secure additional forwards.
The youngster’s final destination may not be as much in Leeds’ hands as they would have hoped.
In other Leeds news, Monk has made a shock transfer revelation after meeting with new owner Andrea Radrizzani.