Huddersfield Town are ready to fight any bid by Leeds United to prize goalkeeper Alex Smithies away from the Galpharm Stadium.
Smithies is one of the keepers interesting Leeds following their decision to offload existing first-choice Kasper Schmeichel, but Huddersfield have declared their intention to retain the 21-year-old.
Schmeichel is currently in talks with Leicester City, who had a bid for the Danish international unexpectedly accepted by Leeds on Monday, and the Elland Road club have confirmed that he will not feature in their plans next season, regardless of whether the proposed move to the Walkers Stadium goes through.
United are expected to sign out-of-contract Blackpool player Paul Rachubka on a free transfer next week, filling one vacancy in their squad, but they are in the market for another keeper and Smithies, Burnley’s Lee Grant and Newcastle United’s Fraser Forster have all been named as targets.
Smithies’ contract runs until 2013, however, and Town chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “Alex is very much a part of things here. He’s a home-grown product on a long-term contract.
“He can rise all the way to the top. That makes him a big asset and we’re not under pressure to sell.”
Leeds have made an addition to their academy goalkeeping ranks by signing Republic of Ireland youth international Eric Grimes.