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The search for a striker continues
Friday, 24th Jun 2016 18:17 by Tim Whelan

Even with the Marcus Antonsson deal completed, Garry Monk is still looking for extra options up front.

Leeds have seemingly ended interest in signing Kemar Roofe from Oxford due to the £3m asking fee, which is double the amount we are prepared to pay. Oxford are asking for such a high figure because of a generous sell-on fee they would have to pay to his former club WBA, but that’s not our problem. The League One club won’t reduce the fee as their financial position is good and they don’t need to make a quick sale.

Attention then turned to 26-year-old Dundee striker Greg Stewart, but he is another striker we’re unlikely to sign due to his current club asking for too much money. In this case the fee is a mere £1million, but that seems a little excessive for a player who only scored eleven goals last season.

Stewart only has a year remaining on his current contract, but Dundee’s managing director has said the club would rather lose Stewart for free next summer than have to sell him now, as he’s regarded as a key member of their current squad. Aberdeen, Rangers and Hearts are also said to be interested in Stewart.

A younger prospect could be 21-year-old Anthony Limbombe of NEC Nijmegen, who could be tempted to a move to England according to his agent, Chrstian Negouai. The Express think we’re interested in Limbombe but have yet to make a bid, and we would also face competition for his signature from SV Hamburg.

And finally, talk of promising young strikers brings us back to Ashley Fletcher. Despite his previous comments that he wanted to fight for a first team place at Old Trafford, the 20-year old has declined Manchester United’s offer of a new contract. His present club could come back with a better offer, but it might not be about the money, if Fletcher thinks that Jose Mourinho is likely to splash out on more experienced players who would bar his way.

Man U would be entitled to a compensation payment because of his age, but Leeds are apparently willing to meet his wage demands. But as ever, there are other clubs interested in the player, and if he is to move to the Championship we’d face competition from his previous loan club Barnsley, as well as Bristol City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

So it’s clear we’re being careful with the cash, and although it’s wise not to pay over the odds for any of our targets, it’s still unclear as to how far Cellino will be able to go in funding Garry Monk’s team strengthening this summer.

A few weeks ago he was asking minority shareholders GFH to stump up their share of the cash, but they seemed unable to do so. That was to have been discussed at Tuesday’s board meeting, but we’ve not heard anything about this little difficulty having been resolved. Will Garry Monk be able to get the players he needs before the new season kicks off in August? Watch this space.

Photo: Action Images



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