Leeds United: Whites keeping tabs on Forestieri

Fernando Forestieri (left)
Fernando Forestieri (left)
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Watford forward Fernando Forestieri remains on Leeds United’s transfer radar despite owner Massimo Cellino indicating that the Elland Road club are being priced out of a deal.

Leeds looked set to fail with an approach for the 25-year-old Italian due to the cost of a signing which would involve a fee in the region of £3million.

Cellino told the YEP that Forestieri’s valuation was “really too much” but Leeds are believed to be maintaining their interest in a striker who is preparing to leave Vicarage Road before the end of the transfer window.

Watford, whose Italian owners are known to Cellino, appear ready to sell Forestieri after he was left out of their first two Premier League matches.

The former Udinese striker failed to make Watford’s squad for either a 2-2 draw with Everton or a 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion and his peripheral position attracted immediate interest from the Championship, including an enquiry from Sheffield Wednesday.

United were keen on loaning Forestieri for the rest of the season with a view to signing him permanently next summer but Watford are reluctant to agree to that arrangement.

Watford’s sporting director, Nicola Salerno, worked for Cellino in the same capacity at Leeds last season and is understood to have been involved in recent talks.

Forestieri is two-and-a-half years into his career at Vicarage Road and he featured in both their run to the Championship play-off final in 2013 and their promotion to the Premier League in May.

He has scored 18 goals in 72 appearances for Watford.

United head coach Uwe Rosler is looking the strengthen his attacking line before the transfer deadline and Leeds have tracked a number of forwards in the past two months.

The club came close to signing Brazilian Raphael Martinho from Catania before pulling out of the transfer and they also made approaches for Bastia’s Floyd Ayite and NEC Nijmegen’s Anthony Limbombe. United are yet to meet the valuation of either player, however.