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Beckford exit not a done deal - SG
Published : 03 Jan 2010 16:41:19Rss feed
Beckford sent the 9,000 travelling supporters into ecstasy at Old Trafford on Sunday as his first-half goal helped secure a famous third-round win. The fact it was Leeds' first win at the home of their bitter Roses rivals since 1981 told its own story, even without the torment of the six years since their last visit, which have seen the once-proud club plummet into League One. Leeds appear certain to get out of that wasteland next spring, although they might have to do it without Beckford, whose 20th goal of the season might be his last as his contract runs out in the summer, and chairman Ken Bates is wary of the striker leaving for nothing. However, Grayson is under no obligation to sell, especially now Leeds have banked a tidy sum from today's exploits. And it is by no means certain Beckford will leave. "There are three scenarios," said Grayson. "He can either sign a new contract now, or we can keep him until the end of the season and he leaves then. The worst-case scenario is that we are offered some money now that is too good to turn down. "But we would have to have replacements lined up if that was to happen." It has already been suggested Newcastle have made a bid, something Grayson refused to discuss. However, he knows Beckford's ability - his goal on Sunday afternoon was an excellent effort as he got beyond Wes Brown then beat Tomasz Kuszczak with a neat finish after the Pole had been slow to react - is a precious gift. And the 26-year-old will be going nowhere unless the price is right. "Today he showed what he is all about. He worked hard for the team and got his opportunity," said Grayson. "That is five goals in the last three games now. That is a big commodity. "We are not looking to sell him but money talks with any player. "I knew as soon as the window opened there would be a lot of talk about him. "We don't want him to leave unless it is the best thing for him and, long term, the football club. But, if we do let him go, we won't let him go on the cheap." It is only a couple of weeks ago Beckford stormed off down the tunnel after being substituted at Southampton, a reaction he has since apologised for. However, the supporters who were booing him then were raising the roof on Sunday. It does not quite erase all the pain they have endured over the past few years. But it certainly signals an intention to bounce back. "It is a fantastic achievement," said Grayson, who went on to praise the club's loyal fans. "Our football club has had a lot of negativity over the last five years. "We have been in administration and we have been relegated. I said when I came to the club we had reached rock bottom and would not go any lower. "But our fans were there for us. It is not just about taking 9,000 to Old Trafford. "We have taken 3,000 to Bristol Rovers on a Tuesday night. Every away allocation, we sell. We regularly get 25,000 at home. "There have been times when they might have downed tools and decided football was an expensive business and supported the team from home. "But they have followed us the length and breadth of the country. Today is a result for them more than anyone else."
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