Leeds are eagerly awaiting a response from Southampton after the Championship promotion chasers handed Saints a deadline on a potential deal for the striker.
The 23-year-old, yet to score in the Premier League this season following his £15m move from Birmingham City in the summer, has emerged as Marcelo Bielsa’s number 1 target to replace Eddie Nketiah, who has returned to Arsenal ahead of a loan move elsewhere.
The forward is a proven scorer in the second tier, netting 22 times in the Championship for Birmingham last season, with Leeds’ latest offer – reported to have been submitted last week – yet to be accepted or rejected by the south coast club.
The offer from Leeds is believed to be a loan to buy, with United reported to be willing to pay £1million to take Adams to Elland Road now, before the deal becomes a permanent £10million arrangement at the end of the season.
And with the player known to be keen to make the move to Elland Road – Adams has played in just 646 of the 1,980 Premier League minutes available this season – and with the Saints board, it’s claimed, of the mind to accept, the one major obstacle blocking Leeds’ path now is that of Saints boss Ralph Hassenhuttl.
That’s because the Austrian has, twice, very publicly declared his desire to keep the player, with Hassenhuttl last week declaring: “I cannot consider that I loan him out because I need every player, especially in the attacking position, we don’t have that many.
“I know he is not so happy at the moment because he didn’t play so often and did not score, but we know what we have with him and we know we need him in the second half of the season.”
Unfortunately for Leeds, Hassenhuttl’s stock at the club has rarely been higher after an unbeaten run of six games that culminated in Saturday’s impressive 2-1 win at Leicester that further eased their relegation concerns and it’s suggested their board are against the idea of upsetting their manager.
As such, Leeds are believed to have set a deadline on the prospective transfer, with the Yorkshiremen hoping for an answer before the end of the week in order to move on to other targets; one of which is reported to be Watford striker Andre Gray.
Leeds have kept a diplomatic silence in their hunt for Adams, with Bielsa giving little away when questioned about the player last week: “I don’t like to make reference to hypothetical options or options we don’t know will come.”
When asked more specifically abut the need for attacking reinforcements, Bielsa added: “We need one striker as soon as possible. If we find the ideal player, good. If we don’t find the ideal player then we will find a solution.”