Richard Cresswell has targeted a place in the Premiership after completing a £1.15m move to Leeds.
The 27-year-old Preston striker, who scored 21 goals last season, has agreed a four-year deal at Elland Road.
"I got to the play-off finals with Preston last year and now I want to go one better and go up automatically this season," he said.
"Coming to Leeds, with the players we've got, we've got to have a chance of taking one of the top two places."
Sheffield United had earlier had a £1m bid for the player accepted before Elland Road officials stepped in.
And Blades boss Neil Warnock said: "It seems a coincidence that Leeds go in for everyone I'm after."
Cresswell, however, insisted he had been "keeping his options open" until hearing from Leeds.
"As soon as I knew that had happened, I was straight up the road to speak to the gaffer about his plans for me and the squad," he said.
"Once you come to this place and see the surroundings it makes your mind up."
Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell added: "We needed another striker. To get a player of Cresswell's quality is amazing."
"When you see the difference that Rob Hulse makes we need to take the weight off Robbie Blake and David Healy.
"And with Hulse missing a few games already we needed someone with Richard's physical presence."
Cresswell, who becomes Leeds' ninth summer signing, recently signed a three-year extension to his current deal at Preston but has since turned down an improved offer.
He began his career at York and also played for Sheffield Wednesday and Leicester before moving to Deepdale in July 2001.