Leeds United have emerged as the favourites to sign Brighton forward Craig Mackail-Smith as Neil Warncock continues to completely overhaul his squad over the summer.

The former QPR manager has already signed nine players so far in the transfer window, with the vast majority arriving on free deals, but Warnock is still desperate to bring some firepower to his team for next season.

Leeds were well off the pace in the Championship last season and Warnock is hoping to now improve his squad in order to be able to fight for a place at the top of the table and be in with a chance of securing promotion back to the Premier League.

Neil Warnock
Leeds have targeted Brighton forward Craig Mackail-Smith [Reuters]

Sky Sports has reported that Warnock has made Mackail-Smith his number one target and is hoping that he will be able to convince Brighton to sell the striker who started his career in non-league football with St. Albans.

Leeds are short of options in attack and there has been some speculation that Ross McCormack could be used as part of a deal for Mackail-Smith, but there appears to be plenty of interest in the Scottish striker.

The Yorkshire club have already signed Luke Varney and Andy Gray, but Mackail-Smith is viewed as a more influential forward after becoming the most expensive player in Brighton's history when he moved for £2.5million from Peterborough.

Sky has reported that Brighton boss Gus Poyet is said to be ready to let the Scotland international leave in the summer, but he first wants to secure a deal for a replacement.

Mackail-Smith has a proven track record in the Championship, scoring 10 league goals in a struggling Peterborough side back in 2009/10, before last year ending the season with nine league goals.

Should Leeds manage to sign the 28-year-old then he would most likely be competing with Luciano Becchio for a starting berth, as Billy Paytner has been placed on the transfer list and McCormack seems destined to depart.