Earlier this month, Leeds were linked with a move to sign Leicester City winger Demarai Gray. The player has entered the final six months of his Foxes contract and a new one seems unlikely to arrive – given he has managed just 18 minutes of Premier League football this season. Now, a price tag has come to light that has got to put Leeds on red alert.
Gray, 24, has shown glimpses – over the years – of pure quality in the Premier League with Leicester. Though it may not have been consistent enough, the former Birmingham star is certainly good enough for England’s top tier and has that ability to create things out of nothing. In a team where he would be first choice, he might thrive more than he did at Leicester.
In and out of the side, this season the emergence of Harvey Barnes and the signing of Cengiz Under has ushered him towards the exit door. The former England Under-21 star needs a club that are going to use him regularly – and it seems he might have his pick of Premier League clubs over the course of the next couple of weeks.
In January 5’s Daily Mirror (page 47), it was claimed that Leeds were leading Premier League sides Sheffield United, Southampton and West Brom in pursuit of the ex-Birmingham City star. Leeds have an abundance of wingers but clearly a player of Gray’s ability, homegrown status and potential is going to attract suitors – even if they are not necessarily in need of a winger.
Now, German outlet Sport1 claim Bayer Leverkusen are interested with Leicester willing to sell Gray this month for just £1.8million – a fee that Leverkusen do not want to spend. It gives Premier League sides the chance to steal in and nab Gray from under Leverkusen’s noses as they stall over a move for Gray – and Leeds have got to take advantage.
On the face of it, Leeds do not need a winger – but delve a bit closer and you might find the real reason why Leeds should be in the market for Gray. Jack Harrison, Raphinha, Stuart Dallas, Gjanni Alioski, Helder Costa, Pablo Hernandez and Ian Poveda are all options for the Yorkshire side on the flanks. But it may surprise many to know how many of those are right-footed.
Indeed, the answer is just one out of seven – Hernandez. The rest are all left-footed, as is Gray. Bringing another right-footed winger to the club – for a bargain figure of £1.8million – could be the ideal scenario for Leeds. A no-brainer.