Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford has handed in a transfer request, the League One club have confirmed.
The 26-year-old, whose contract expires in the summer, has been strongly linked with a move away from Elland Road, with Coca-Cola Championship leaders Newcastle leading the chase for his signature, and Leeds have now revealed Beckford informed them of his desire to leave last month, although they insist their star forward will not be allowed to leave on the cheap.
A statement on the club's official website read: "Leeds United can confirm that Jermaine Beckford has handed in a transfer request."
The statement continued: "The transfer request was handed in on December 30. By handing in a transfer request it clearly indicates that the player wants to leave Leeds United.
"However, that will only be allowed to happen in the event that it is decided to be in the best interests of Leeds United.
"The best interests of Leeds United involve receiving both an acceptable transfer fee and securing a suitable replacement to ensure his departure does not have an adverse effect on the club's overall aim of securing promotion back to the Coca-Cola Championship."
Beckford scored his 20th goal of the season in last weekend's shock 1-0 FA Cup victory over Manchester United.