By Craig Scott

14th Jan, 2020 | 6:00pm

Phil Hay names £70,000-a-wk PL player as one to watch for Leeds fans this month

Although Leeds United have failed in an initial approach for Andre Gray, the Watford striker could be “one to watch” in January, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.

Leeds are in the hunt for a new centre-forward after losing Eddie Nketiah at the start of the month and a number of top-flight strikers have since been linked with a move to Elland Road.

Gray, 28, is one of the latest names to have been mentioned and former Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Hay has claimed that Leeds have seen an approach rebuffed by Watford this month.

However it is understood that the situation regarding the former Burnley striker could evolve as the transfer window progresses and fans may want to keep an eye out for any developments.

“They obviously like [Che] Adams and they made an enquiry to Watford about Andre Gray (but were initially told no). Gray might be one to watch because I could see that situation changing. He’s on a very hefty wage though,” said Hay via a live Q&A session on The Athletic website.

He added: “There’ll be talk of Dwight Gayle too, inevitably, but he’s injured. Almost everything they’re looking at is initial loan with an obligation to buy in the summer. Most targets are in the Premier League.”

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It is no surprise to see Leeds eyeing up Gray as a possible replacement for Nketiah.

Although he has only scored twice in 18 Premier League appearances this season, the Wolverhampton-born striker is extremely proven in the Championship.

In 88 second-tier appearances for both Brentford and Burnley, Gray scored 41 goals, meaning that he has a Championship strike rate of almost a goal in every other game.

He would be an ideal signing for Leeds but, as Hay says, his huge wages could be an issue.

Statistics website Spotrac reports that Gray is earning £70,000-a-week at Vicarage Road.

There’s no way that Leeds will come near to matching that.

In other Leeds United news, the club would love to get this “finished” 26-year-old off their wage bill.