Leeds United extend striker search but deal for Valencia targetman unlikely

Caleb Ekuban
Caleb Ekuban
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LEEDS UNITED have widened their search for another striker after seeing long-term target Ashley Fletcher move to Middlesbrough.

Leeds rekindled their interest in Fletcher last week but the race to sign him ended abruptly after Boro, managed by former Whites head coach Garry Monk, agreed a fee of £6.5m with West Ham United and captured Keighley-born striker Fletcher’s signature on Friday.

Caleb Ekuban

Caleb Ekuban

The forward had been on Leeds’ radar for the previous 12 months but the Elland Road club failed with an attempt to sign him permanently from Manchester United last summer and saw an approach to take him on loan from West Ham rejected in January.

United were again keen on recruiting the former Barnsley loanee in this transfer window but the club are assessing other options with head coach Thomas Christiansen looking to add an extra forward to his squad before the end of the month.

Christiansen’s options increased recently with the arrival of Ghanaian Caleb Ekuban from Chievo but Leeds will attempt to secure more cover for player-of-the-year Chris Wood, who pitched in with 27 Championship goals last season.

United also have Marcus Antonsson on their books but the Swede made just six league starts during his first year at Elland Road and was an unused substitute in Leeds’ final three pre-season friendlies this summer.

Alvaro Negredo

Alvaro Negredo

Former Middlesbrough and Manchester City forward Alvaro Negredo has been heavily linked with Leeds but sources at the club have told the YEP that the cost of buying the 31-year-oldhim out of his contract at La Liga side Valencia was making a deal highly unlikely.

A total of nine first-team signings have already arrived at Elland Road this season but Leeds are also targeting another centre-back and remain active in the transfer market with the opening round of the Championship season days away.

Thomas Christiansen

Video: Leeds United boss Christiansen looks to build on Boro win against leaders Wolves