Ashley Fletcher was linked with a move to Leeds United when he was at West Ham United last summer, and the Middlesbrough-owned Sunderland striker was reportedly a target of the Whites in the January transfer window.
Back in July 2017, The Sun reported of Leeds’s interest in Fletcher, but it was Championship rivals Middlesbrough who eventually signed the youngster from Premier League club West Ham for a transfer fee reported by BBC Sport to be worth £6.5 million.
Then in January 2018, The Sun on Sunday (print edition, Sunday, page 68, January 21, 2018) claimed that the Whites wanted to sign the 22-year-old striker from Boro (click here for read more), only for the former Manchester United prospect to join Sunderland on loan for the rest of the season.
One should not be surprised if Leeds are linked again with Fletcher in the summer of 2018, and perhaps this time the West Yorkshire outfit will secure his services due to the presence of Paul Heckingbottom.
Heckingbottom, recently appointed the Leeds head coach, worked with Fletcher at Barnsley in 2016, and he told The Yorkshire Post in October 2017 that he had advised the striker to join Middlesbrough after the youngster asked him for his opinion.
“I would have loved to sign Ashley,” Heckingbottom told The Yorkshire Post in October 2017. “But we would have needed massive help from West Ham to get him on loan.
“He actually phoned me and said, “Boro have just bid £7m for me’ and he was still, like, ‘What do I do?’ I said, ‘Get yourself there'."
Fletcher took Heckingbottom’s advice, and perhaps the Leeds head coach could convince the youngster to move to Elland Road in the summer of 2018.