Bates suspects Becks exit

Whites supremo resigned to striker's departure

Beckford: Free agent

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Leeds United chairman Ken Bates suspects Jermaine Beckford may have played his last game for the club.

Although the manager would like him to stay I suspect it is unlikely, but he will go with our best wishes. Bates on Beckford

The 31-goal marksman clinched promotion for Leeds last Saturday thanks to his match-winning goal against Bristol Rovers.

Beckford is a firm fans' favourite, but with his contract expiring this summer can shortly depart Elland Road on a free transfer.

Leeds have offered Beckford the chance to extend his stay in West Yorkshire, but Bates is not optimistic about the talks.

"He has an unusual agent and it's not easy to have discussions with him," added the chairman.

"Although the manager would like him to stay I suspect it is unlikely, but he will go with our best wishes."

Plans in place

Bates insists the club have been working hard behind the scenes following promotion in order for Simon Grayson's side to be competitive next term.

"Now we know where we are, we are assessing the players more closely and looking at who is available," he continued.

"One of the problems you have is that players want to join Leeds, but didn't want to play in League One.

"We were working on Sunday and I had a good working lunch with Simon on Monday when we had a good talk about things.

"He also has to tell the players who don't figure in his plans for next season so they can find alternative clubs.

"There's players available, it's important they know as soon as possible, and we can make our own plans as well.

"I can assure everyone that behind the scenes there is a great deal of work taking place."

Stay on

Meanwhile, Andy Hughes, who is out of contract this summer, has expressed his desire to pen fresh terms with the Whites.

Hughes has proved a versatile performer for Leeds this season and he hopes his ability to play numerous positions can be of benefit to the club.

"I'm meeting the manager later this week and I really hope we'll get something sorted. I'm not sure what's in his mind but I know what's in mine," he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"I don't want to go from here and I don't want to play for anyone else. I've had the best three years and I feel that I'm fit enough and good enough to bring something to the table next season."