Manager reacts to Leeds transfer speculation as Victor Orta is given warning over Whites midfield target

Leeds director of football Victor Orta

Birmingham City manager John Eustace has given his thoughts on our claims that Leeds United are well placed to sign Blues’ teenage midfielder George Hall in the January window.

The Whites are in the market for squad reinforcements in the January window. Their need for a new left-back is well documented with Pascal Struijk playing for much of the season as emergency cover. And Leeds are also looking for more options in attack, with Patrick Bamford suffering a crisis of confidence, and still struggling with injury and now an entire calendar year without a goal.

Jesse Marsch’s side are currently sat in 15th place, but just two points clear of the relegation zone. Possessing one of the weaker squads in the Premier League, their resources will be put to the test on their return to action against Manchester City on December 28.

However, they go into the game without talismanic midfielder Tyler Adams. The American will be forced to sit out the match against the Premier League champions after picking up two yellow cards in their final match before the break, at Tottenham.

Filling his place in the side will be no easy thing for any player, with Mateusz Klich, Adam Forshaw or young stars Sam Greenwood and Darko Gyabi potential options.

However, Klich is seemingly closing in on an exit away from Elland Road as a move to MLS gathers pace. To that end, the Pole is said to be excited over what will be a new chapter in his career.

Forshaw is also another player who could depart. His deal at Leeds comes to an end in the summer. And reports claim Leeds are open to his possible departure in January. Klich’s exit could yet have a bearing on that, however.

Birmingham react to George Hall rumours

As such, it’s little surprise to see Leeds also looking to strengthen their midfield options. One player they are keen on is Birmingham midfielder Hall. The 18-year-old has been on Victor Orta’s wishlist for some time after his emergence at St Andrew’s.

And our exclusive earlier this week revealed that Leeds were growing in confidence that they can lure Hall north in January.

However, Blues manager Eustace insists his side are happy with Hall and he is warning Orta that Birmingham do not want the teenager to leave.

“We’re delighted with his progress,” Eustace told BBC Radio WM, via BBC Sport.

“He’s a top young player. But all I want to do is to keep on developing George in the right way. That’s what I think we have done so far.

“For me, George Hall is one of the top young players in the league. He’s a very effective player whether he starts or we have him coming off the bench.

“He’s only just turned 18 – and he’s got an opportunity to showcase himself here. We don’t want George Hall going anywhere.”

A firm approach from Leeds, though, will give Blues plenty to ponder. The club are yet to confirm new owners and remain vulberable to seeing their top young talents poached away.

Hall has 20 appearances to his name, with 18 of them coming in the Championship this season.

And he might not be the only Blues youngster to be lured away, either, as another TEAMtalk exclusive reveals.

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