Leeds United are lining up a sensational return for striker Ross McCormack if Chris Wood leaves Elland Road this summer. Burnley have had two bids for the New Zealand international rejected by the Whites following much speculation that last season's top scorer is on the verge of leaving west Yorkshire.
Wood has started each of the club's three Championship matches this term, scoring in the opening weekend win over Bolton Wanderers, yet he continues to be subject of rumours regarding his future. The Yorkshire Evening Post understand a follow-up bid from Premier League Burnley, which initial reports suggest was around £20m, has been turned down. A move to Turkey has previously fallen through.
Speaking after the 0-0 draw with Fulham on Tuesday [15 August], Leeds manager Thomas Christiansen said: "I don't know about the bids. I'm not listening to them. I'm just focused on Chris on the pitch. When he plays, he tries to do his best.
"If it's right that we have these offers, because I don't want to listen, then the president (Andrea Radrizzani) and Victor (sporting director Victor Orta) can talk about it. Of course it can influence (Wood's thinking) a little bit, like all players when they speak about you. If they speak about the Premier League then that's much more pressure but I believe he'll score again soon."
Christiansen has previously stated he has no plans to allow Wood to leave, and that only a bid exceeding the £198m Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona to sign Neymar would tempt into parting with a player who netted 27 times last term.
Yet despite the stance adopted by Christiansen and Leeds, the club have seemingly started preparing for life after Wood. According to the Yorkshire Post, among the contenders to fill the void left by the Kiwi is McCormack or Hamburg forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga - but it will be links with the former that will create waves around the Championship outfit.
The Scotland international enjoyed a fruitful spell with Leeds, scoring 58 goals in 157 appearances between 2010 and 2014 but his departure to Fulham left a sour taste with many supporters. McCormack continued his sparkling form with 42 goals in 100 outings for the west London club, winning a move to relegated Aston Villa where he was charged with leading the club back to the top flight.
But the 30-year-old's career has suffered a steep decline since moving to Villa Park and after netting just three times in 22 outings a failure to attending several training sessions and subsequent fall-out with new manager Steve Bruce led to him joining Nottingham Forest on loan, where again he failed to make an impression.
Though McCormack has been re-integrated this season his future at Villa appears increasingly bleak with Bruce having yet to turn to the forward despite complaining over his lack of attacking resources. The Villa Park club have meanwhile taken just one point from their opening three league games despite being heavily tipped to challenge for promotion.