Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Leeds Set To Bid for Huddersfield Keeper

Leeds United are poised to step up their long-held interest in Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Alex Smithies after calling time on Kasper Schmeichel’s career at Elland Road.Smithies is prominent on the list of possible replacements for Schmeichel following United’s decision to accept a seven-figure offer from Leicester City for the Danish international.Leeds are believed to be in the process of finalising a deal to take the experienced Paul Rachubka from Blackpool but manager Simon Grayson has two vacancies to fill and another keeper will follow the 30-year-old into Elland Road.United have been vying for the signature of Coventry City’s Keiren Westwood but the likelihood of Sunderland capturing the Republic of Ireland international has seen Grayson turn his attention elsewhere.United’s boss is a known admirer of 21-year-old Smithies, an England youth international and a highly-rated member of the squad at the Galpharm Stadium.

Smithies’ contract with Huddersfield runs until 2013 but Town’s recent defeat in the League One play-off final has left them vulnerable to sensible offers for the young keeper.

United stand to raise in excess of £1million if Schmeichel accepts a transfer to Leicester, and Grayson will channel a portion of his summer transfer budget into recruiting a suitable replacement for the Dane.

Smithies is a product of Huddersfield’s academy and has amassed more than 100 appearances for the club since making his full debut in a 4-0 defeat to Leeds at Elland Road in December 2007.

The youngster has been capped by England at under-19 level and several Premier League sides have monitored him since his emergence as a senior player three-and-a-half years ago

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