Sky Sports pundit Danny Mills thinks that Leeds made a big mistake over their handling of Jack Clarke.
18-year-old Clarke is set to seal a permanent move to Tottenham in a deal that could be worth as much as £13million, according to Alan Nixon.
However, Mills thinks Leeds have left money on the table by not signing Clarke up on a new deal before selling him.
Talking to Football Insider Mills said, “Leeds should have bumped up Jack Clarke’s contract earlier this year. Leeds would have protected their asset by tying him down to a new deal, and it was a big mistake not to do so. If he had signed a new four or five-year contract earlier in the year, they would have been able to get a few more million out of Tottenham.”
Mills might have a point but we’re not convinced Tottenham would have paid much more than £13million – if that is the correct figure.
Clarke still has two years left on his current deal and that’s plenty. Plus, Leeds were in a tough position last season, not knowing if they’d be playing in the Premier League until late on in the campaign.
If they had sealed promotion it’s very likely Jack Clarke wouldn’t have been sold. And that would have been the time to offer new contracts to their key stars.
We can’t see the Leeds players being prepared to sign Championship-level contracts while they were riding high in the league. And Leeds weren’t going to offer top-flight wages before they were promoted.
As it is, Leeds have negotiated a sell-on clause and first option on Clarke if he’s ever loaned out. We think that represents a good deal for the club.
If Mills wants to talk about mistakes he should look at the rushed Samu Saiz deal that saw the Spanish player move to Getafe on loan last January, with only an option to buy not an obligation in place. After his poor form in the second half of the season, that’s a deal that will likely end up costing Leeds a few million.