Report: Leeds United interested in signing ex-Arsenal striker prospect Jay Emmanuel-Thomas on free transfer

Bristol City

Leeds United have been credited with interest in striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

Leeds United have been named among a clutch of Championship clubs showing interest in Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

The talented striker is a free agent having been released by Bristol City this summer, where he has spent two seasons since joining from Ipswich Town.

The Birmingham Mail report that Leeds United are rivalling Birmingham City for his signature, with Nottingham Forest another club interested.

Emmanuel-Thomas began his career with Premier League side Arsenal, where he played in the youth team alongside Jack Wilshere before departing in 2011.

He scored 12 goals for the League One side this season, and his versatility is a big part of his game. Emmanuel-Thomas can play up front, in an attacking midfield role behind the frontman, or out on the wing, where Leeds lack options.

The 24-year-old played alongside former Leeds striker Matt Smith last season, who was on loan from Fulham at the time.

He played one first team game for Arsenal in the FA Cup as a starter against Stoke, and is a former England under-19 international.

Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill told the he needed to play regularly, having lost his role as a certain starter this season, and backed him to be a success elsewhere.

He told the Birmingham Mail: "He’ll get sorted out with a new club for sure, and if he gets a deal with one of the clubs I’ve been speaking to then I’d be delighted for him.

“I’ve certainly given good recommendations for him, including to a chairman. He’d do a cracking job for them."

On a free transfer Emmanuel-Thomas could be a decent pick up by Leeds, but he could be wary of suffering a similar fate to Nicky Ajose under the unpredictable Massimo Cellino regime.

Ajose was discarded by Leeds only playing three games after a summer move, and was sent out on loan to League One side Crewe for the rest of the season.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch