Leeds United are exploring the possibility of signing Derby County forward Matej Vydra this summer, as per reports from the Yorkshire Evening Post.
The Whites, who finished the 2017/18 season in a disappointing 13th spot in the Championship, will be looking to build a team capable of putting up a stronger bid for promotion next term.
Having recently relieved Paul Heckingbottom of the managerial duties, the club are still on the lookout for a new manager, with former Athletic Bilbao head coach Marcelo Bielsa understood to be in advanced negotiations to join the club.
However, the club are set to press ahead with their transfer plans and not wait until a managerial appointment is made.
A need for a top-class forward has haunted the Whites throughout the 2017/18 season as they failed to replace star striker Chris Wood, following his departure to Premier League club Burnley last summer. The New Zealand international had been the club’s top scorer the preceding season and their inability to adequately replace him cost them dearly last term.
Leeds brought in a number of forwards last summer – Pierre-Miche Lasogga, Caleb Ekuban, Jay-Ray Grot and Pawel Cibicki. However, none of them were able to deliver the goods for the Peacocks on a consistent basis which left them handicapped in front of goal for most parts of the campaign.
And Derby County’s Vydra could prove to be the ideal solution for Leeds as they look to put up a strong challenge for promotion next season.
The Czech Republic forward enjoyed a stellar campaign last term, scoring 21 goals in 40 Championship appearances, thereby ending as the division’s top goalscorer. He played a vital role in helping the Rams to a playoff spot finish. Vydra also provided four assists in the league last season.
Vydra’s record in the Championship during his time with Watford and now Derby speaks volumes of his goalscoring abilities. The 26-year old has thus far scored a total of 65 goals and assisted 22 more in 187 Championship games.
Having fired Watford to automatic promotion in the 2014/15 season, where he scored 16 goals, he almost managed to do the same with Derby last season. Vydra’s track record highlights that he knows this division in and out and understands what it takes to succeed in the Championship. It is this sort of experience and goalscoring pedigree that Leeds were lacking big time last season.
Derby are understood to be open to selling their star man as they look to cut costs in order to meet the Financial Fair Play requirements, following another failed promotion bid. The Rams are likely to demand at least £10m for the attacker. Leeds should go all out to try and land Vydra this summer if they want to mount a serious promotion push next season.