Whites explore Matej Vydra deal amid continuing talks over Abel Hernandez

Derby striker Matej Vydra.
Derby striker Matej Vydra.
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Leeds United are exploring a deal for Derby County striker Matej Vydra amid prolonged talks to sign free agent Abel Hernandez.

Hernandez is a major target for United and has been in advanced talks with Leeds for the past few weeks but the club have been alerted to Vydra by Derby’s willingness to sell the Czech forward in this transfer window.

Vydra was the Championship’s top scorer with 21 league goals this season, a tally which drove Derby into the play-offs, but County’s board are set to cut costs after failing to win promotion and have already allowed former manager Gary Rowett to leave for Stoke City.

Derby want a fee in excess of £10m for Vydra, however, and Leeds expect to face serious competition from Championship and lower-end Premier League sides.

Vydra has played in the top flight with both West Bromwich Albion and Watford and Derby paid £8m to sign him from Vicarage Road in 2016. He has two seasons remaining on a four-year contract but is likely to quit Pride Park.

Leeds have been in contact with Derby about Vydra’s situation and believe an agreement is possible, though discussions with Hernandez - available on a free transfer after the expiry of his contract at Hull City - are continuing and United would not have the funds to sign both players.

All transfers into Elland Road are expected to wait until after Leeds conclude their hunt for a new head coach. The club have been courting Argentine Marcelo Bielsa and the 62-year-old was planning to review an offer made to him by United today with a view to reaching a decision on the job early next week.

Bielsa would want to see meaningful progress in the transfer market before pre-season training starts on June 25 and has discussed possible signings with United officials.

Hernandez has been top of United’s list of striker targets since the start of the summer having proven himself in the Championship during four seasons at Hull but Vydra possesses similar pedigree and has twice hit the 20-goal mark in the second tier.