EXCLUSIVE: West Ham among Prem quintet to join Leeds in midfielder battle

Aaron Lennon battling with Lewis O'Brien

West Ham United have joined the chase for Huddersfield vice-captain Lewis O’Brien, who it has emerged has a release clause in his contract, TEAMtalk understands.

The 23-year-old is a product of Huddersfield’s system and has now emerged as one of the top midfielders in the Championship.

O’Brien was wanted by Leeds United last summer, who saw a number of bids turned down by the Terriers.

Town kept hold of O’Brien and he signed a new contract until 2025. But we understand that included a release clause worth around £12m.

Leeds remain interested, having failed to sign anyone else in O’Brien’s position since. But they are not alone, with West Ham the latest team to join the hunt.

We understand Crystal Palace have also been checking on him in recent weeks, also joining Wolves, Burnley and Norwich City in pursuit of him.

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O’Brien has played in 30 Championship matches so far this season, plus four cup games. He has returned two goals and two assists.

Reports elsewhere have also linked him with Championship promotion hopefuls Bournemouth, who would be willing to pay his exit clause.

Lewis O’Brien enjoying life under Carlos Corberan

Huddersfield Town's Lewis O'Brien in action against Derby at Pride Park

Huddersfield themselves, however, remain in with a shout of promotion.

They remain fifth in the Championship table following Saturday’s hard-fought goalless draw with Sheffield United.

O’Brien has been a vital cog in their system, with his tireless displays a key part of their success.

Speaking ahead of Huddersfield’s match against the Blades, O’Brien heaped praise on boss Carlos Corberan.

He said: “I feel like my development (under Carlos) has been massive. Especially in the attacking thirds and my technical play.

“I’ve always been very good at getting around the pitch, and the defensive side of the game was one of my strongest aspects.

“But I’ve been working hard on my attacking side.

“I think that’s been showing in the last couple of games.”

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