A Liverpool approach for Archie Gray will face competition from Borussia Dortmund, although the Whites remain relaxed over his future and are in talks over a new deal, TEAMtalk can reveal.
The relegation from the Premier League last season, while at the time was a sad occasion for the club, has turned out not be such a bad thing after all with a major reset undergone at the club and by new owners 49ers Enterprises. And while 15 players departed Leeds United over the summer – many of them on loan deals thanks to clauses arranged in their contracts by the previous regime – the club has been forced to undergo a pretty major rebuild.
Indeed, nine new first-team stars were brought in this summer, with the likes of Joe Rodon, who could yet make his stay permanent, Ethan Ampadu, Glen Kamara, Sam Byram and Joel Piroe all having a quick and significant impacts.
While several of those new boys, together with Crysencio Summerville and Dan James, whom Daniel Farke has very quickly got a tune out of, continue to dominate headlines, it is arguably one of their homegrown talents in Gray who is attracting the most attention.
The 17-year-old has long been regarded as one of Leeds’ most promising players and he is a firm part of Farke’s first-team set-up after finally making his long-awaited debut on the first day of the season.
Gray has since gone on to make 15 appearances for Leeds in the Championship, missing just the one match so far. And the star has illustrated his versatility for Leeds too, operating both as a No 8 in midfield and, more recently, showing off his superb abilities operating at right-back.
His intelligence as a player clearly defies his tender years, with his ability to move into a midfield position when Leeds are in possession drawing comparisons to Trent Alexander-Arnold.
As a result of his rapid developement, however, interest in Gray is beginning to mount.
Dortmund join chase for Archie Gray
Indeed, Liverpool were touted as suitors last week, with their interest in Gray since confirmed by Fabrizio Romano.
The Merseysiders, however, are not the only ones, with Everton and Crystal Palace previously being linked. Sources have also revealed to TEAMtalk that both Newcastle and Manchester City are also keeping tabs on the teenager’s progress.
We also can confirm the interest is not just English-based with Borussia Dortmund also now joining the chase. Dortmund have a very strong scouting network in England and they have highlighted Gray as a player they should be pursuing.
The Bundesliga side also have a solid recent history of plundering England for top young talent, with Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham their two standouts, and with Jamie Bynoe-Gittens the next hot big name coming through.
Leeds United calm over Archie and Harry Gray future
Despite the growing interest in Gray, however, sources have told TEAMtalk that neither Leeds or Gray are in a hurry to part ways.
And with the player due to turn 18 in March, the Whites are confident of tying the player down to a long-term deal with talks underway on a bumper new deal as a result of his fantastic progress with the club.
And despite valuing Gray at up to £50m, Leeds have no intentions of selling at this moment in time and feel the asking price is significant enough to dissuade his suitors from making the move.
Furthermore, we have been told that Gray – whose whose family stem from professional football with his grandad, Frank, great uncle, Eddie and father Andy all former Leeds players – is happy to continue his progress at Elland Road. To that end, Gray is not agitating for a move.
In addition, it is felt Gray’s brilliant progress is served best by remaining at Elland Road, rather than moving elsewhere and finding himself potentially facing a more fearsome battle for first-team football.
That’s also the same mantra being pushed over Harry Gray, Archie’s younger brother. We revealed on Tuesday that Harry is attracting the attentions of Manchester City, who are on the verge of securing the signing of talented Leeds prospect Finley Gorman.
But while Gorman will make the move for a British record seven-figure sum for a 15-year-old, Leeds remain confident of holding on to Harry Gray’s services, inspite of City interest.