Chris Wood had the best season of his career last year, and there have been some speculation about his future at the club. Earlier in the summer he was linked to West Ham United and Stoke City, and now rumors are appearing that he is linked to a move to Turkey.
Don’t believe these rumors.
While another club might be interested in Wood, there is no foundation to any of the rumors indicating that Leeds would be in any position to sell him. In fact, if we take the statements from the new owner, Andrea Radrizzani, and the new director, Angus Kinnear, at their word, they have both pretty much come out and said, point blank, that Leeds is not in the business of selling their good players anymore. The club has brought in a bunch of new players and looks to be gearing up for a run to the Premier League.
Selling Chris Wood for anything less than stupid money, and we’re talking £40 million plus, would be a huge mistake. If Leeds was interested in cashing in on Wood’s once-in-a-lifetime season last year, the time to sell would have been over a month ago when the window opened, not the week before the season starts. Maybe it would have been prudent to cash in while the interest was there, but it doesn’t make any sense now. There isn’t enough time left to get in a player and the coaching staff has already figured out what kind of formation they wish to use and who the personnel they are going to use. There is a serious lack of depth behind Wood, with only Caleb Ekuban being brought in and the club has already lost out on West Ham’s Ashley Fletcher.
Plus, and this is the more important point, Wood may not hit 30 goals again this year, but he’s a proven Championship-level striker. Radrizzani has purchased Leeds as an investment and, given the length of the payoff that is involved in the purchase of Elland Road, looks to be around for awhile. Taking Leeds to the Premier League and getting them to stay in the Premier League is way more important, financially, than it is to get a few million quid for a Kiwi striker. Cellino always sold off or pissed off the good young players, leaving Leeds to be a selling club, but that was short-sighted. A quick look at the Premier League’s obnoxious TV money puts this in perspective. Yes, Leeds could get £25 million for Wood. But if Leeds are promoted, the minimum amount of money that Leeds would get for a season in the Premier League is around £100 million. Keeping the club in the Premier League would result in even bigger paydays for the owner, so why would he cash in on a vital piece of the promotion effort now for 25% of the minimum payoff?
Chris Wood isn’t going anywhere unless the player wants out, and there is no indication that he does want out, or if the team gets a ridiculous offer that it can’t refuse. And even if the team gets a ridiculous offer, they would need to have a plan to bring in a few new strikers to replace Wood. So yes, Victor Orta and Angus Kinnear don’t say “Chris Wood will never be sold” because those are the kind of statements that come back and bite you in the press. But this ownership and management group is not only talking the talk about getting the club back into the Premier League, they are taking the steps to invest in all areas of the club that will allow the club to return to the Premier League and stay up in the top flight. Selling Chris Wood for goes against everything the club has done so far in terms of investment in the future, so it is extremely unlikely that he goes anywhere.