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Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Jermaine Beckford still in Grayson's Leeds United plans

Jermaine Beckford
Beckford has scored 63 league goals for Leeds

Manager Simon Grayson says he expects Jermaine Beckford to continue to perform for Leeds United despite him putting in transfer request.

The 26-year-old striker put in the request just days before scoring the winning goal against Manchester United in the FA Cup third round.

"We treat him the same as when I arrived on day one," Grayson told BBC Radio Leeds.

"If I pick him on Saturday I expect him to go out and perform for us."

Beckford has already hit 20 goals this season, scoring five in their last three games, and is expected to be involved against Wycombe at Elland Road on Saturday.

I saw him first thing this morning and asked if he had the right training ground

Simon Grayson

"There is no getting away from the fact that there was going to be speculation about him during this window because he is one of the hottest properties in the country," Grayson continued.

"He is a goal-scorer, a commodity and is a good footballer so there was always going to be interest in him.

"I saw him first thing this morning and asked if he had the right training ground, you have to have a bit of a laugh and a joke about it. That's how football is.

"While he's under contract he is still available for selection and he is a good lad and very good to work with.

606: DEBATE
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"He is playing very well at the moment and if I select him I expect him to do his best for us and react in the right way, just like he did after the incident against Southampton.

"The players have had a joke about it with him too, but they don't go and force him into a corner and totally ignore him because they know he'll properly play at the weekend.

Newcastle United led the way for Beckford's signature, but their bids have not come near matching Leeds' asking price.

Grayson explained: "Obviously you are disappointed when someone hands in a transfer request because you feel what we have going here people would want to stay here.

"But opportunities don't come along often for a player to move to a so called bigger club so you can understand it from some areas.

"I think it is highly unlikely that Jermaine will sign a new contract with us regardless of what we can offer him.

"We have to cut our cloth accordingly and know he can go on a Bosman in the summer. And he'll be able to get a decent amount of money if he goes in the summer, wages we properly can't compete with that.

Obviously other people have decided that him trying to leave this football club would be in the best interests of the player and maybe the person himself

Simon Grayson

"What we can give him is success, games and goals and a place where he can enjoy his football. But obviously other people have decided that him trying to leave this football club would be in the best interests of the player and maybe the person himself.

"I think it could have been handled differently. Agents do pay a big part in determining players' futures and sometimes players are too easily influenced by their agents and advisors."



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