Thursday, 16 June 2011

Paynter targeted by Blades

Leeds United striker Billy Paynter has emerged as a summer transfer target for Sheffield United.Paynter is believed to be interesting Blades manager Danny Wilson and the Bramall Lane club could test Leeds’ faith in the forward with a close-season approach.The 26-year-old is 12 months into the three-year deal his signed at Elland Road last summer but his first term with United was chequered by a long-term shin injury and a return of one goal from 23 appearances.Paynter played under Wilson at Swindon Town for 18 months, scoring 29 times in his final season at the County Ground before sealing a free transfer to Leeds, and a switch to Bramall Lane would reunite the pair in League One.Leeds manager Simon Grayson showed consistent faith in Paynter last season, however, and continued to the field the former Bradford City and Hull City player until the end of the campaign, despite his scoring record.

Paynter produced his only Leeds goal in a 2-1 win at Preston North End on March 8 but was sent off for violent conduct during a costly 2-0 defeat to Sheffield United 11 days later.

He completed a three-match ban in time to return to Grayson’s starting line-up over the Easter weekend and started all of the club’s final four fixtures.

Grayson, who could yet look to Bramall Lane for a deal with Sheffield United midfielder Nick Montgomery, has several other strikers available to him having seen Luciano Becchio and Davide Somma agree new deals last year and Ross McCormack come to prominence in the closing stages of the Championship season.

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