Liverpool are emerging as the likeliest contender to snap up a Leeds United phenom, and while a January move will be blocked, the outcome could be different in the summer, per reports.
Leeds were held to a 1-1 draw with Rotherham on Friday night that could see the gap to high-flying Leicester and Ipswich rise to 10 points if both sides are victorious later today.
The Whites are gunning for promotion and have their sights set on going up automatically. One player who’s rapidly emerged as key to their hopes is 17-year-old sensation, Archie Gray.
The teenager has featured in all but one of Leeds’ Championship clashes this season and racked up 14 starts along the way.
Gray began the season in the holding midfield role, though has since transitioned into playing at right-back. Given the two positions in question, comparisons with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold have already been made.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been confirmed as a keen admirer of Gray by both Fabrizio Romano and The Daily Mail. Other Premier League sides to take notes on Gray include Crystal Palace and Everton.
But it’s Liverpool who The Mail went strongest on when claiming they are prepared to put their money where their mouth is in the summer.
Leeds have been advised to cash in in January if able to loan Gray back for the remainder of the campaign as part of the agreement.
However, according to a fresh update from Football Insider, Leeds will not entertain a January sale in any way, shape or form.
January transfer blocked, but Liverpool eye summer
FI stated the west Yorkshire club are ‘adamant’ Gray is ‘going nowhere’ in the winter window.
What’s more, Leeds have reportedly opened discussions with Gray and his representatives over signing a new contract that’ll also include a sizeable pay rise.
Gray’s current deal expires in 2025 and signing an extension would strengthen the club’s position if and when bids are tabled. However, it would not ensure Gray isn’t poached at some stage in the future.
The Mail claimed Leeds value their teenage sensation in the £40m-£50m range. That is a colossal price tag for someone who has played less than 20 games in senior football, though is indication of just how highly he’s regarded.
It’s also a valuation that doesn’t appear to be putting Liverpool off. The Mail concluded Liverpool have their sights set on a summer bid despite the knowledge an agreement will set them back £40m-plus.