Neil Warnock has refused to rule out a firm approach for Nicky Maynard but he insisted today that Leeds United have made no offers for the West Ham United striker.
Warnock played down speculation that he was looking to exploit doubts over Maynard’s future at Upton Park, admitting the 25-year-old had been “mentioned” in conversations about summer transfers but was not yet a direct target.
Maynard has been with West Ham for less than a season after joining them from Bristol City in January, but the prolific forward is attracting interest in the aftermath of the Hammers’ promotion to the Premier League.
He was signed for a fee of around £2million and is unlikely to come cheap having taken up a two-and-a-half year contract at Upton Park, but Maynard made just nine league starts in the closing stages of last season and did not feature in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.
Leeds are in the market for another goalscorer, despite the deal which brought Luke Varney to Elland Road from Portsmouth on Monday.
Ross McCormack, the club’s leading scorer last term, is the subject of firm interest from Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace and seems destined to leave Elland Road after rejecting an offer to extend a contract which expires in 12 months’ time.
Maynard averaged almost a goal from every two games at Bristol City and was equally reliable during three campaigns with Crewe Alexandra, but Warnock responded coolly to claims that he is working to bring the striker to Leeds.
The United manager: “He’ll be the type of player that people are asking about on my behalf. We’ve mentioned probably 30 people like that and I’ve not made contact with the club myself. But I’m not saying he hasn’t been mentioned because there are 20 or 30 players we’ve asked about, talking to Premier League managers and staff.
“It (the speculation) hasn’t come from me and with the number of players we’ve talked about – like Nicky Maynard – my staff will be making phone calls. Once an agent knows everything’s going to be out in the open isn’t it?
“We’ve not even considered making an offer for him. We’ve just been asking people what the availability of that type of player is.”
Warnock admitted that a high calibre of signing would be needed to replace McCormack should the Scotland international move on from Leeds, and the future of club captain Robert Snodgrass is still no clearer after Norwich City made two bids for the 24-year-old last week. Both players are currently in Cornwall for United’s pre-season tour of the south west of England.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s friendly at Bodmin Town, Warnock said: “We don’t know what’s going to happen with Snodgrass or McCormack and to replace lads like that you’ve got to find top quality players. But we’re hoping we don’t lose them.”