Leeds to rival Simon Grayson's Preston for Jermaine Beckford

HITC Sport understands Leeds United are lining up a shock move to try and bring former star Jermaine Beckford back to Elland Road.

HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club that Leeds United are among several clubs eyeing a move for Jermaine Beckford on a free transfer this summer.

Beckford is set to become a free agent after being released by Bolton Wanderers upon the expiration of his contract at the Macron Stadium.

The 31-year-old has spent most of this season on loan at Preston North End after, having joined the club in November, and he has impressed during his stint at Deepdale.

Beckford has scored 15 goals for Preston, including a stunning 50-yard effort in the League One play-off semi-final win over Chesterfield earlier this month to help the Lilywhites reach the final at Wembley.

Preston – under the management of former Leeds boss Simon Grayson - are keen to make Beckford's signing permanent and they remain favourites to land the Jamaican international, but should they fail to win promotion to the Championship, they could struggle to finance a deal for the forward.

Leeds are monitoring Beckford's situation and they could offer him a return to Elland Road as they look to build a side capable of challenging for promotion to the Premier League next season.

Beckford is a big fans' favourite at Leeds, having scored 72 goals during his previous four-year spell at the club and helped fire the team back to the Championship from League One.

New Leeds manager Uwe Rosler is thought to be an admirer of Beckford, while Rosler's former club Wigan Athletic are also chasing Beckford as they look to bring in a new striker who can help them win promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch