It has been the longest running saga of the transfer window. Ever since Pierre-Michel Lasogga left Leeds United after his loan expired at the end of the season, it was clear that a new centre forward was needed. As the season approaches, that position has still not been filled and fans and possibly even the club are starting to get a bit nervous.
striker is a big priority. There has been a little bit of contact with Vydra but his financial demands haven't changed (yet). Joe Bryan - a player Leeds have liked for a while but haven't seen any sign of a firm approach this summer.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) July 18, 2018
So realistically, who could Leeds actually sign?
For a long time this summer, Vydra was the name that seemed the most likely. The top scorer in the Championship last season seemed destined to leave Derby and it appeared that Elland Road was his most likely destination. A fee had been agreed between the clubs and it was just left for the player to agree personal terms. However, the Vydra would not lower his wage demands from 50k a week and Leeds (quite rightly in my opinion) were not prepared to pay Premier League wages to a Championship player. This deal is by no means dead however, as if Vydra cannot find himself a taker at the wages he is demanding then he may well be back at Leeds with his tail between his legs.
Along with Vydra, Abel Hernandez has been linked with Leeds since the start of the transfer window. After being released by Hull, the Uruguayan striker is looking for a new club. At the start of the window, it seemed as though Leeds were the favourites to land his signature but as time has gone on, more and more European clubs have shown an interest. Hernandez has now had offers from CSKA Moscow and Galatasaray and Leeds simply cannot compete with the allure of Champions League football or the wages these teams can offer. It seems highly unlikely that this one will happen.
As of now, this is the deal that seems most likely. When West Ham signed Jordan Hugill from Preston in January, they had to fight off interest from Leeds to do so. However, Hugill has never really had the opportunity to impress in London and a spell back in the Championship may be exactly what he needs. He is a big, strong number 9, with the ability to hold the ball up and bring the smaller, more skillful players into play. He is a player that knows the Championship well and would settle in immediately. As this YouTube compilation shows, at Championship level he is a top striker.
Those are three biggest names that Leeds have been linked with. However, as the season draws nearer, there have been some more obscure names who have thrown their hat into the ring.
12 goals in 17 league games for Kasimpasa in Turkey alerted Leeds to this Senegalese striker. However, he has no experience in the Championship and Leeds fans will be concerned that he is just another Doukara or even another Ekuban.
It is unclear if Leeds were ever actually interested in signing this Nigerian striker, but reports in Italy were insistent that he was on the verge of signing for the Mighty Whites. Leeds meanwhile have always maintained that they were not looking to sign Mbakogu and with 6 goals in 26 Serie B games last season it is easy to see why.
Probably the least likely name on the list, Caicedo spent last season at Lazio, scoring 3 goals in 22 Serie A matches. Although not exactly prolific, you’d have to expect him to score more goals in the Championship than in the top league in Italy. The whispers surrounding the former Manchester City man have gone quiet for now but if Leeds don’t sign anyone in the next week or so then expect his name to be mentioned again.