Leeds United will look to other attacking transfer targets next week after pulling the plug on a bid to sign Rotherham United forward Kieran Agard.
United’s interest in Agard ended abruptly yesterday lunchtime as the club rejected his wage demands during a brief meeting at Elland Road.
Leeds agreed a fee well in excess of £500,000 for Agard late on Thursday night and believed a deal was in place with the 24-year-old ahead of face-to-face discussions yesterday.
But Agard’s switch from Rotherham fell apart in less than an hour as Leeds refused to meet the salary requested by him.
A source close to the deal told the YEP that the club were also annoyed by Agard’s failure to attend the meeting on time. Leeds had hoped to confirm his transfer before noon, allowing him to play against Middlesbrough this afternoon.
Leeds owner Massimo Cellino accused Agard of having a “bad attitude” but the player’s agent, Lee Payne of Full Contact, said United’s offer of personal terms had been unacceptable.
Payne told the YEP: “We just haven’t been able to agree personal terms.
“Leeds were hopeful of getting him signed in time to play (against Middlesbrough) but they were keeping their offer within a budget and we couldn’t agree to it.”
Agard scored 26 times last season and Leeds were ready to pay Rotherham close to £1m for him, despite the former Everton trainee having only a year left on his contract.
Leeds will turn elsewhere for another addition in Agard’s position and are being credited with a serious interest in Mirko Antenucci, an Italian striker who plays for Cellino’s old club Cagliari.
Antenucci, 30, spent last season in Serie B with Ternana and has previously played for Torino and Catania.
But the likely arrival of another forward will not force Matt Smith out of Elland Road. Smith is set to be handed a new contract by Leeds after meeting with the club for talks on Thursday.
Smith, whose existing deal expires next summer, has been the subject of recent speculation following a bid for him from Millwall but he is expected to receive the offer a new deal next week, potentially ending doubts about his future.