Liverpool are determined to beat Manchester City and Newcastle to a £50m-rated Leeds United ace and a bid is in the works, while a report claims the Reds could double up when raiding Elland Road.
Leeds are gunning for promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking under Daniel Farke. Leicester are the division’s runaway leaders, leaving Leeds, Southampton and Ipswich to scrap for the second automatic promotion place.
The Whites have won six on the spin to overtake Ipswich and among the club’s most influential players this season has been 17-year-old Archie Gray.
The teenager has displayed maturity beyond his years and has made the unfamiliar right-back role his own. Gray is a central midfielder by trade, though is now among the first names on Farke’s teamsheet at full-back.
Gray has been capped at Under-20 level for England and has drawn early comparisons with Trent Alexander-Arnold thanks in large part to the two positions he plays.
England’s elite have duly taken note of Gray’s rapid rise and talk of a summer switch has swirled.
Indeed, the Daily Mail previously claimed Liverpool have already been convinced by Gray’s outings this term and are fully prepared to table an official bid come the summer.
The Mail stated Leeds value Gray between the £40m-£50m range. Given Gray is going from strength to strength with each passing week, it stands to reason the top end of the estimate will be required to unlock a deal.
What’s more, Gray signed a new contract with his boyhood club on January 16. The fresh terms tied his future to the club until 2028, thus strengthening Leeds’ position if and when bids do arrive.
They state Man City and Newcastle are also interested in signing Gray and the fact he recently signed a new contract isn’t seen as a barrier that would prevent a deal being struck.
Gray did reaffirm his loyalty to Leeds when news of his new contract broke. However, if the west Yorkshire club fail to win promotion it may be difficult to retain a player of his class in the second tier.
Liverpool want Archie’s brother too
Elsewhere, HITC also brought news of Liverpool hoping to double up when raiding Leeds for Gray.
The Reds reportedly have their sights set on Archie’s younger brother, Harry, as well.
The 15-year-old plays as a striker and despite his tender age, has already represented Leeds at Under-18 level.
The Gray family have a long and storied connection with Leeds United. Archie and Harry’s father, Andy, played for the club in two separate spells during his playing career.
Grandfather Frank Gray played for Leeds in the 1970s and 1980s, while great uncle Eddie Gray is a legend of the club from the late-60s, 70s and early-80s.
The family connection could aid Leeds’ chances of fending off heavyweight interest in Archie and Harry.
Nonetheless, it may still be difficult to resist if Liverpool thunder in with lucrative bids for both brothers.