Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Leeds, Newcastle among clubs eyeing Birmingham starlet with major price tag

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa during the Premier League match at Turf Moor, Burnley

Leeds and Newcastle are among the Premier League clubs keeping tabs on Birmingham wonderkid George Hall, according to reports.

He is a 17-year-old attacking midfielder currently playing for the Blues’ U18 side. He has registered two goals and one assist in eight appearances so far this campaign.

Hall appeared on the radar of top-flight clubs following his England U18 debut against Holland on Wednesday. He played a full 90 minutes as the Young Lions were beaten 3-2 in Murcia, Spain.

The Daily Mail write that both Leeds and Newcastle are interested in Hall, alongside fellow Premier League clubs Southampton and Brighton. He is seen as an electric talent who could become a Premier League star in the next few years.

Leeds have a history of producing talented players. Kalvin Phillips and Jamie Shackleton both came through the academy before making their way into the senior side. They also developed midfielder Lewis Cook but saw him leave for Bournemouth in 2016.

Newcastle, meanwhile, have a huge budget at their disposal after the £305m takeover last month. But new boss Eddie Howe is aware of the need for top young players. Hall could become one of the first teenagers taken to St James’ Park.

Birmingham are aware of the interest and have plans of their own for Hall. They wish to offer him a bumper new contract, keeping him from the clutches of top-flight clubs.

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They will only accept ‘considerable’ bids for Hall as things stand. But a new deal would help them to pick up an even larger fee, should he leave the West Midlands.

The player could be given his first-team debut this season. Manager Lee Bowyer has handed opportunities to the likes of Marcel Oakley and Jordan James in Birmingham’s last two matches.

Birmingham sit 15th in the Championship after 17 outings. Their first game after the international break is an away trip to Hull City on Saturday November 20.


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Leeds man delivers Raphinha verdict

Meanwhile, Leeds winger Dan James believes team-mate Raphinha can do ‘absolutely anything’ in a game.

The skilful 24-year-old recently made his Brazil debut. He is now on two goals from four caps.

On Raphinha, James told FIFA: “He’s a magician. He’s always been a great player – I played against him at [Manchester] United and he was always great – but he’s improved so much.

“He fully deserved his Brazilian call-up and I think since he got it, he’s pushed on even more, he’s even more confident. He can do absolutely anything on the pitch. It’s great playing with him.”

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