Jack Harrison is currently in line for a Leeds United exit with his long-expected new contract echoing the situation with Kalvin Phillips 12-months ago.
The Whites winger has been the subject of transfer interest all season despite his form taking a nose-dive since the opening weeks.
At that point it was newly-rich Newcastle who wanted the former Manchester City man, who kicked off the campaign as the obvious star of Jesse Marsch’s side with a goal and three assists in the first three games.
In the January window it was Leicester City who wanted the 26-year-old, with the Whites even sending him to the Foxes training ground on deadline day for a medical before calling him back.
And with his current contract set to expire at the end of next season the noises coming out of the club throughout have been that the plan is to sign him to a new deal.
And Sky Sports had reported on 2 February, just after the cancelled Leicester move, that Harrison was in line for a “significant” pay rise, but Hay followed up on his show a day later (3 February, 7m) that it will not match the £100,000-a-week he was going to get at the King Power.
Despite being apparently in the offing since at least the start of the season, it is now two and a half months until the end of the campaign and the contract has still not materialised.
Fans only need cast their mind back to a year ago to remember a very similar situation with local favourite Kalvin Phillips.
And on 27 April The Athletic reported that there had been “no progress” despite a willingness from both Phillips and Leeds since before Christmas 2021 to get a deal done, as Manchester United started sniffing around.
The ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ never did sign a new contract and left for Manchester City in the summer, in a £42million deal some way short of the club’s £60million valuation from March [Times].
Harrison’s asking price was £36million to Newcastle back in the summer [Telegraph, 13 June], and they nearly let him go to Leicester for £20million, so he won’t be netting the Whites anything like the fee of his former teammate either way.
But without a breakthrough in the near future, or a complete breakdown of a market for him amid indifferent form, he looks like he will be heading out of the same exit.
The April Athletic report cited the sacking of Marcelo Bielsa in February 2022 and the club being stuck in a relegation battle as factors in the Phillips talks landing on the back burner.
Those elements are startlingly familiar as well, with Jesse Marsch fired almost exactly a year later (6 February), with the club once again in a fight against the drop.
Fans won’t decry the departure of Harrison in the way they did Phillips, but the club look like letting many more millions slip through their fingers with a reduced-price exit of another starter, if they fail to agree a contract that both sides apparently wanted months earlier.
In other Leeds United news, Victor Orta now on shaky ground at Elland Road amid rumblings of behind-the-scenes clashes.