Preston North End striker Jordan Hugill is the front man Leeds United really want to sign this month, according to a reliable journalist.
Yorkshire Evening Post correspondent Phil Hay has dismissed the possibility that United will make a big-money swoop for Peterborough goal machine Jack Marriott to solve their centre-forward problem.
In a Twitter exchange with a Leeds fan, Hay explained the club’s scouts’ regular attendance at the League One outfit’s fixtures as proof of improved diligence rather than a signal that they are strongly pursuing Marriott.
The journalist stated that Hugill is more firmly on the radar of the club but added that both the Preston ace and Marriott “look too expensive” at this stage.
Leeds employ far more scouts these days then they did previously. Take in a lot of games. Club would rather have Hugill than Marriott but both look too expensive.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 15, 2018
Hugill, who finished last season as Preston’s top scorer with 13 goals, has netted 10 goals in 27 appearances in all competitions so far this season to enhance his reputation as one of the best strikers in the Championship.
Leeds failed to score for the third consecutive league match as they sunk to a 1-0 defeat to Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Saturday.
Good move for Leeds?
Yes. Leeds are crying out for a proven striker who knows how the find the back of the net on a regular basis. Hugill is a targetman who can lead the line, pull defenders out of position and create space for others. He also has a decent scoring record, with 30 goals from 112 Preston matches and is entering his peak years. He would certainly be an upgrade on Kemar Roofe (better operating from deep), Pierre Michel Lasogga (has had a two-month winter break), Caleb Ekuban (striken by injury) and Jay-Roy Grot (horribly lacking in finesse or experience).
This Is Futbol rating: 7/10.
Likely to happen?
The word is that Preston are determined to keep hold of their star striker, but he is out of contract in 18 months and they are vulnerable to a bid. It would likely take well over £5million – an £8million price tag has been mooted – to prise Hugill from Deepdale, the sort of fee that Leeds have been unable or unwilling to pay for a decade-and-a-half. Is Andrea Radrizzani willing to properly back his manager in the market to aid the team’s ailing promotion push?
This Is Futbol rating: 5/10.