Leeds United’s hopes of trumping Burnley in the chase for Brighton striker Ashley Barnes have been all but dashed, writes Peter Martini.
The Whites were looking to add to their recruitment yesterday of long-time target Cameron Stewart by gatecrashing the Clarets’ pursuit of the 24-four-year-old who is out of contract in the summer and available at a cut price.
However, just as rumours of an Elland Road switch were growing, it was revealed the player, who has scored six times in 24 games this term, was having a medical at their Championship rivals from Turf Moor.
Burnley had a £750,000 offer rejected at New Year but a new bid was accepted by the Seagulls.
Leeds – whose boss Brian McDermott has stressed a need for more new blood to bolster hopes of breaking back into the play-offs positions – are still poised to add to their ranks further during the January transfer window, with attacker Jimmy Kebe in advanced talks over a loan move from Crystal Palace.
Winger Stewart, meanwhile, arrives on loan from Hull in a deal which will turn permanent in the summer.
He could make his debut in Leeds’ Yorkshire derby at lowly Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow (12.15pm).
McDermott said: “He has pace, he gives us something different, and he is hungry to do well.”