By David Woods

15th Jan, 2020 | 7:00pm

MOT View: One huge problem facing Leeds if they want to sign Andre Gray

It sounds like Leeds United are going to have to admit defeat over their push to bring Southampton’s Che Adams to Elland Road. 

Ralph Hasenhuttl seems to have won the battle over Adams and the striker is set to stay on the south coast.

That means Leeds moving on with other targets – and quickly.

According to Athletic journalist Phil Hay, Leeds might go back for another crack at Andre Gray. Watford have already knocked Leeds back once in this window but Hay said he could see this situation changing.

Gray would go down well with the fans. He’s only started seven league games for Watford this season but he scored 23 goals in 41 games in his last season in the Championship (15/16 with Burnley).

However, there are two problems with the move.

Gray is on £70k-a-week at Watford and Hay has claimed that he would have to be a straight loan without an option or an obligation to buy.

That’s not ideal as the aim with Adams was to make his transfer permanent in the summer and build for the Premier League.

However, there’s one really big problem. Hay added that if the deal was going to happen it would require “Watford to pick up a big chunk of his salary”.

Given that Watford didn’t want to loan Gray out earlier in the window, it seems highly unlikely that they would not only change their minds but also effectively subsidise a move to Leeds.

Herein lies the big problem that Victor Orta is trying to crack at the moment.

Leeds want a Premier League-level striker who has been playing and is fit enough to come straight in and play for Bielsa. Given the stage of the season we’re at, a loan move for a youngster like Eddie Nketiah would be far from ideal.

However, Premier League-level strikers are expensive and on big salaries. Fans want to see that sort of player but it could mean hanging on until the end of the window when clubs have exhausted every other option for players they want to move on.

Waiting until the end of the window is fraught with its own issues (Daniel James anyone?) but it might be the only way forward for Leeds. Even given that, a deal for Gray seems highly unlikely given the financials.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay says attacker to arrive at Leeds tomorrow as club looks to seal first major Jan deal