Kemar Roofe has knocked in 13 goals for Leeds to put them top of the Championship.
Boxing Day saw the striker score two injury time goals to beat Blackburn 3-2 and has helped send them three points clear as we enter 2019.
There have now been widespread claims across the newspapers though that Newcastle United are looking to sign Kemar Roofe in the January transfer window, as they are desperate for extra goals and pace up front.
Newcastle’s interest in the player actually dates back to November 2015.
There had been claims that the Magpies were watching the striker ahead of the January 2016 transfer window and Kemar Roofe confirmed the interest at the time (see below).
He had scored 17 goals in 27 League Two starts for Oxford including 11 in the first three months of that 2015/16 season.
After helping Oxford to promotion to League One with 18 goals by the end of that season, Kemar Roofe ended up joining Leeds United and not Newcastle, for a reported £3m transfer fee.
Then Premier League, West Brom had let him go without giving the striker a single league game, so he had to build his career back up from the bottom.
Now with Leeds United he could be on the verge of at last playing in the Premier League. Roofe turns 26 on Sunday so the clock is ticking on him playing in the top tier.
As for Newcastle’s claimed interest now, if it is genuine then the only thing maybe in their favour is that Kemar Roofe only has 18 months left on his current contract and Leeds are desperate for him to extend that.
Leeds will obviously try everything to keep the player as they at last appear to have a realistic chance of getting back to the top tier.
As for Newcastle United, it is difficult to see them competing for players even in the Championship when it comes to goalscorers and creative players who could potentially do it at a level higher, Leeds sold Chris Wood for £15m last summer (2017) so surely any transfer price now would have that as the very basic starting price if he was sold.
Rafa Benitez has still not been allowed by Mike Ashley to spend more than £10m on any player since Newcastle returned to the Premier League and it would be a brave/foolish man (or woman…) who would predict that changing in January.
Kemar Roofe – November 2015:
“I was told about it (Newcastle watching him) on Friday…
“Of course it’s flattering and I must be doing something right, but as long as we win games and get promoted at the end of the season that’s all that matters.”
Oxford Manager Michael Appleton also commented on Newcastle’s interest at the time:
“I would be disappointed if we didn’t (have interest from clubs in Oxford’s best players), because if not, it would mean we had some bang average players.
“The fact we have had three or four players now who are consistently playing well for a long period is good for the club.”
“It doesn’t bother us. Kemar Roofe is in a good place at the minute and he’s enjoying his football, getting better and better.”