Grayson wants Beckford stay

Whites manager trying to hold onto star striker

Beckford: Nets winner for Leeds

Leeds United manager Simon Grayson is hoping to keep hold of promotion 'hero' Jermaine Beckford.

Beckford raised the roof off Elland Road on Saturday when he reacted quickest to fire Leeds 2-1 in front against Bristol Rovers, with the Whites having gone behind on a day of great drama in League One.

All Grayson's men had to do was beat the Pirates to be assured of a place in the Championship next season, but things started to go horribly wrong as Max Gradel was sent off shortly after the half hour mark before Darryl Duffy put the visitors in front after half-time.

Leeds rallied though and Jonny Howson equalised with an excellent curling strike before Beckford scored in a superb four-minute salvo.

The 26-year-old striker has long been linked with a move to a Premier League club with Everton thought to be interested in his signature, but Grayson admits he will try to keep him at Leeds.

"He is a hero with that goal. No one wants him to leave," he said in The Sun.

"Jermaine is out of contract and has been sat on the bench for the last four games - but I made him captain for this one. And the lad responded in the right manner.

"If we can come up with the right deal, I'd love him to stay. It's tough when you're competing with Premier League clubs, but we shall do everything we can to keep him.

"We know what he can do and that is why we tried so hard to tie him up on a new deal last summer.

Fantastic

"If he does move on, he'll do so with my best wishes as he's been a fantastic player for us.

"And how much do the rest of the players want him to stay? Well, they have gagged him, tied him up and stuck a contract under his nose and won't let him out of the dressing room until he has signed it.

"Seriously, I don't know if Jermaine will have a change of heart. But if there is a chance within our financial constraints, then we shall try and keep him.

"Someone who can score 30 goals a season is rare and he wants to be tested at the top level."

On Leeds' chances in the Championship next season, Grayson remarked: "We're going into a difficult division and there are some big teams in there, but it doesn't frighten me."