Leeds United: Whites not expected to pursue Beckford option

Preston North End's Jermaine Beckford and manager Simon Grayson with the Sky Bet League One Play Off trophy.
Preston North End's Jermaine Beckford and manager Simon Grayson with the Sky Bet League One Play Off trophy.
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Leeds United are set to bypass the opportunity to re-sign Jermaine Beckford despite the striker’s blistering end to the League One season.

Owner Massimo Cellino spoke with Beckford’s representatives earlier this month and watched the forward during the League One play-offs but the YEP understands that Leeds do not intend to firm up their interest in bringing him back to Elland Road.

Beckford is out of contract after being released by Bolton Wanderers and he finished the season on loan at Preston North End, scoring 18 times in 31 appearances to earn Preston promotion to the Championship.

He rounded off his spell at Deepdale with a hat-trick in Sunday’s play-off final against Swindon Town and North End – managed by former Leeds boss Simon Grayson – are leading the race to sign him permanently on a free transfer following his exit from Bolton. United’s contact with Beckford’s camp came prior to Uwe Rosler’s appointment as head coach and the 31-year-old is not among the list of players who Leeds intend to pursue following the German’s arrival.

Beckford continues to be held in high regard among United’s supporters on account of his five-year spell at Elland Road in which he scored 85 times and helped the club to automatic promotion from League One in 2010.

Leeds, however, remain in the market for goalscorers after a season in which they averaged just over a goal from every league game and finished with Mirco Antenucci as their leading scorer with 10. Suggestions, meanwhile, that the club are looking to sign their former goalkeeper Paul Robinson appear to be wide of the mark.

Thirty-five-year-old Robinson, whose career began at Elland Road, is leaving Blackburn Rovers this summer.

United need another keeper to provide cover for first-choice Marco Silvestri after releasing Stuart Taylor and Alex Cairns at the end of the season.

Leeds United goalkeeper, Felix Wiedwald.

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