Leeds United end interest in Carpi striker Jerry Mbakogu

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Leeds United have officially ended their interest in Carpi striker Jerry Mbakogu by informing the Italian club that they will not be exercising an option to sign him.

A letter sent by United to Carpi’s hierarchy has drawn a line under talk of Mbakogu moving to England amid ongoing claims that the Nigerian forward was set for switch to Elland Road.

Jerry Mbakogu.

Jerry Mbakogu.

Leeds courted Mbakogu’s signature in January and reached an agreement allowing them to take the 25-year-old for a fee of around £3m this summer.

United’s interest began to wane last month though following approaches for other strikers and the club stepped away from the deal before a June 30 deadline set to conclude it.

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Carpi were reported last week to have dropped Mbakogu’s asking price to below £2m in an effort to force the transfer through but Leeds are directing their attention and money elsewhere in the search for new centre-forwards.

Derby County’s Matej Vydra remains a major target but will command a fee in the region of £11m and Leeds have so far held off from securing the free transfer of Abel Hernandez amid concerns about the cost of adding him to their wage bill.

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United and head coach Marcelo Bielsa, however, have a pressing need for new forwards with Caleb Ekuban and Jay-Roy Grot likely to leave Elland Road this summer and Pierre-Michel Lasogga back at Hamburg after an underwhelming loan in England last season.