Leeds Play Hardball Over Becks

Last updated : 04 January 2010 By Kevin Markey
Lee Ryder, of the Evening Chronicle, writes that Leeds look set to play hardball over Beckford and Newcastle could have to cough up as much £3m this month for a player they can pick up for nothing at the end of the season when his contract is due to expire.

Leeds are desperate to hold on to Beckford and don't want to take any chances in their bid to climb out of the third tier after a major fall from grace, from the Champions League's big stage to entertaining the likes of Yeovil, Exeter and Hartlepool.

The 26-year-old's price tag was inflated after he sent shockwaves around the world of football with a breathtaking winner at Old Trafford yesterday as the long-term Newcastle target bagged his 20th goal of the season.

Leeds boss Simon Grayson played down talk that Beckford was about to quit Elland Road after the game, while Hughton insists he has other irons in the fire if he fails to net the Londoner.

Hughton told the Chronicle today: "I wasn't at Old Trafford to see Jermaine and there is no deal done yet. All we can say is that we're working very hard on bringing in new players and I am very confident we will get them.

"We have to be patient and there is a long month ahead of us, but we won't panic."

And reflecting on Beckford's performance at Man United, Hughton said: "His profile now goes up because the game was on TV. But everybody knows that this is just one game and whether he'd done well or badly, he would still be a talented player. He's one of a few players we are interested in."