Beckford to hit the big time before Leeds
LEEDS chairman Ken Bates has revealed that a bid of £1.8 million for striker Jermaine Beckford from Newcastle was rejected before his FA Cup heroics.
Bates’ club stood firm even though Beckford will be able to leave Elland Road for nothing at the end of the season and the player had handed in a transfer request to force through a move to the Championship leaders Newcastle.
Despite the tempting offer, the former Chelsea chairman left the final decision over Beckford to Leeds manager Simon Grayson, whose stubborn stance was vindicated when the player withdrew his transfer request and then scored twice in the 2-2 draw at Tottenham.
Beckford is 26 and was a latecomer to professional football, only joining the Yorkshire club in the summer of 2005 having played in the non-league with Wealdstone. He has only known tough times with Leeds, missing out on their glory years in the Champions League, instead observing their collapse into financial problems and relegation into League One.
Playing like this under Grayson, however, they should reach the Championship in May and possibly the Premier League in 2011.
Beckford is likely to get there a little bit sooner.
In the space of three weeks, Beckford has scored the winning goal, in the third round, at Old Trafford against Manchester United, and scored both goals against Spurs.
His first strike, at White Hart Lane was a classic poacher's effort, reacting quickest to squeeze the ball under Heurelho Gomes from six yards while his penalty was confidence personified. He was clearly not bothered by the pressure of the situation
In between all this, he has put in a transfer request, retracted it, and has reportedly been lined up to join Everton on a free transfer in the summer, when he is out of contract.
You could say it has been an eventful month for the Londoner. – The Telegraph and The Independent