By Anthony Onifade

11th Oct, 2023 | 1:10pm

49ers Enterprises could throw millions away at Leeds United after Phil Hay drops £1.5m Sam Greenwood exit update

Leeds United owners 49ers Enterprises could be guilty of flushing millions down the drain after a new Phil Hay update on Elland Road prospect Sam Greenwood emerged on Monday.

The Athletic journalist reported on Monday (9 October) that Teeside giants can exercise the option to buy the 21-year-old who has a contract at Elland Road until 2026 for just a lowly £1.5million.

It is said by Hay that this is the exact amount Leeds United paid to secure his services from Premier League giants Arsenal back in 2020.

Hay reports that Middlesbrough – and Greenwood – have the remainder of the season to assess the potential of a permanent transfer.

The 21-year-old forward scored his first Middlesbrough goal during Saturday’s 4-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light to cap an impressive individual performance which certainly highlighted why he is highly regarded at both his parent club and on Teesside.

Last August, he signed a new contract until 2026 but that was under Jesse Marsch, who saw a midfield role for Greenwood.

But since then, he’s had limited chances in West Yorkshire which ultimately led to his decision to go out on loan and the £1.5m reported clause in his contract which Middlesbrough can trigger should they wish to, means the Whites are certainly open to his exit but it certainly comes as a cost for Leeds and the 49ers who have the ambition of making the Whites a £1billion football club [The Athletic].

Providing the room and space for young talents to mature, develop and shine at Elland Road before selling for considerable profit goes a long way to achieving that ambition.

What message does it send to fans that they are willing to sell a player who hasn’t been granted the opportunity to flourish for just £1.5m?

First and foremost, Greenwood is a highly-rated commodity at Elland Road and arguably one of their most gifted academy products and while a loan move was always on the horizon for him given his lack of opportunities, it should be expected that he’d best set for a first-team role upon his return.

That now looks like a strong uncertainty with that incredibly small exit clause.

Middlesbrough have done incredibly well to negotiate such a small fee for a player who could cost around £30m-plus in the future. It certainly makes fans wonder why would Leeds United want to throw away such a marketable and gifted talent so easily.

Also, Greenwood still has three years left on his deal which makes the £1.5m demand even more ridiculous and not exactly good business from the Whites at all.

Leeds are supposed to be cherishing their best young talents right now, especially with the lure of Premier League football potentially on the horizon again and selling such a prized asset to a promotion rival too really stinks of ineptitude within the boardroom.

It all seems to suggest that he is not as highly regarded by Daniel Farke as he was with Marsch or Bielsa and the Whites could now be staring down the barrel of another unfortunate, surprise and costly academy exit at Elland Road.

In other Leeds United news, Daniel Farke is “totally convinced” that one “unbelievable” Whites player can improve as the season goes on.