SIMON GRAYSON says Town will pull out all the stops to keep Jermaine Beckford at the John Smith’s Stadium.
That’s amid reports that Championship rivals Leeds want to bring the striker back to Elland Road, where he was a big hit after being plucked from non-league football in 2006.
Beckford, on loan from Leicester, is currently sidelined by a hamstring injury and missed a fifth successive match as Town drew 2-2 at home to Bolton.
But Grayson, who hopes the 28-year-old who has scored three times in six Town games will be back for this Saturday’s trip to Hull, says the player he managed at Leeds is keen to stay.
Beckford’s loan runs out on December 29, with Grayson keen to do business with Leicester once the January transfer window opens.
“We’re working hard to structure a deal with his club,” he said.
“There are two willing parties in ourselves and Jermaine, and hopefully the third are interested too.”
Leeds, for whom Beckford scored 85 times in 152 games, have been given an injection of funds after their takeover by a Middle East-based investment bank.
Beckford scored the winner on his last appearance at Barnsley on November 10 and Grayson explained: “He suffered a slight recurrence of his hamstring injury in training.
“But he’s working hard with the physio team and coming along nicely. We’re assessing him daily and hopefully he could be in contention for Hull.”
Norwich loanee James Vaughan scored an 87th-minute equaliser – his fourth Town goal – after making his first start in nine games following a thigh injury against Bolton.
Grayson will have midfielder Keith Southern back after a three-match ban for the trip to Hull but left-back Paul Dixon will serve a one-match ban following his fifth booking. Vaughan and Anthony Gerrard picked up fourth bookings of the season against Bolton, meaning they, like Joel Lynch, are just one more off a suspension.
Defender Lynch failed a fitness test on his hamstring injury before the Bolton game, but Grayson is confident he will be available against Hull.
Town play in the FA Youth Cup third round at Hartlepool tomorrow (7.00).