CHRIS WOOD is on Huddersfield Town’s radar for the January transfer window – but any bid for West Brom’s New Zealand international striker is likely to hinge on Jermaine Beckford.
Wood has attracted plenty of interest after firing eight goals in 16 loan outings for Millwall – two of them in the Londoners’ 4-0 win over Town at The New Den in October.
But boss Simon Grayson remains optimistic over extending Beckford’s loan from Leicester, although his old club Leeds are reported to be keen to bring him back to Elland Road.
Town hope Grayson’s relationship with the 29-year-old he also managed at Leeds, and the way he has settled at the John Smith’s Stadium, will prove crucial.
While currently under treatment for a hamstring injury, Beckford has impressed in bagging three goals in six Town appearances – and could return for Saturday’s Championship trip to Hull.
That would allow him to resume a promising partnership with on-loan Norwich forward James Vaughan, himself back after a thigh problem.
Ex-Everton man Beckford’s hefty salary package at Leicester, where he is under contract until 2015, means a loan extension is more likely than a permanent deal.
I understand progress has been made in talks with the East Midlands club, Town’s first opponents at the King Power Stadium on New Year’s Day after Beckford’s current loan period ends.
But having been close to agreeing a permanent deal late in the August transfer window, only for Leicester to pull the plug at the last minute, Town will be wary.
The John Smith’s Stadium club have long been aware of 21-year-old Wood, who measures 6ft 2in and was the youngest member of the Kiwis’ 2010 World Cup finals squad.
He scored for West Brom in their 2-0 FA Cup third-round win over Town in January 2010, and was the subject of an enquiry from then manager Lee Clark the following season.
West Brom were keen for him to play in the Championship, and sent him to Barnsley, although he did have a stint in League I with Brighton later in the campaign.
Wood, who is at Millwall until January 1, has also been borrowed by Birmingham and Bristol City, and can boast 33 goals in 75 starts and 53 substitute appearances at club level.