Rotherham United striker invites Leeds United to bid for his signature

Kieran Agard. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Kieran Agard. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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Forward Kieran Agard has invited Leeds United to bid for his signature by turning down the offer of a long-term contract at Rotherham United.

Agard, who was watched by Leeds owner Massimo Cellino towards the end of last season, has rejected the chance to commit his future to Rotherham after recent talks about an improved deal.

The 24-year-old, who was Rotherham’s top scorer last season with 26 goals, is tied to the South Yorkshire side for another 12 months after the Millers exercised an option to extend a contract which was due to expire at the end of June.

Agard is training with Steve Evans’ squad in preparation for the new Championship term and Evans has stressed throughout the summer that his leading players will not be sold but Agard’s reluctance to take up Rotherham’s lengthy contract offer has alerted other Championship clubs.

Agard’s agent, Lee Payne of Full Contact, said: “We can confirm that Kieran has rejected Rotherham’s offer of a contract extension.”

Leeds took a keen interest in Agard towards the end of last season, scouting him several times as Rotherham closed in on promotion from League One.

Cellino attended the second leg of their play-off semi-final victory over Preston North End - a match in which Agard scored - but United have focused their recent attention on tying down a series of European transfer targets.

The club made Reading goalkeeper Stuart Taylor their first summer signing last week but have since taken fellow keeper Marco Silvestri on a four-year deal from Chievo.

Sassuolo midfielder Tommaso Bianchi, a former Italy Under-21 international, has agreed a three-year contract at Elland Road and United are close to securing the signatures of Sassuolo defender Jonathan Rossini and Catania’s French forward, Souleymane Doukara.

United are also being heavily linked with Daniele Cacia, a striker at Verona, and Catania defender Giuseppe Bellusci.

Nicola Salerno - Cagliari’s director of football during the latter stages of Cellino time as owner of the Sardinian club - has been present at United’s pre-season training camp in Italy this week and is actively working on incoming deals.

Leeds are in the market for new forwards after selling captain Ross McCormack to Fulham for £11m on Tuesday and they are attempting to ward off interest from Millwall in Matt Smith.

An initial bid from Millwall for Smith was rejected by United late last month.

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