By Anthony Onifade

25th Sep, 2023 | 6:10pm

49ers Enterprises now on high alert to make contract decision at Leeds United as Archie Gray transfer news emerges

Leeds United owners 49ers Enterprises and manager Daniel Farke will now be on high alert with news emerging on possible Archie Gray exit should they fail to achieve promotion.

According to newspaper journalist Alan Nixon, taking to his Patreon page on Sunday morning (25 September), Premier League outfit Crystal Palace plan to be at the front of the queue if Leeds are forced to cash in on their prized academy asset.

Nixon also shares that Palace view Gray as an alternative to Blackburn wonderkid Adam Wharton who may prove too pricy for the Eagles, with the Leeds man already proving this season he could play a part in their youthful side.

The Eagles have been tracking the 17-year-old talent for some time and his first-team breakthrough has put them on red alert [The Sun, 24 September].

The Whites have lost several first-team stars this summer, either permanently or on a temporary basis, after their relegation to the Championship with the likes of Tyler Adams, Luis Sinisterra, Marc Roca, Max Wober and Rasmus Kristensen seeking pastures new to play top-level football.

Manager Farke has done incredibly well to assemble a squad capable of challenging at the top end of the Championship in such a short space of time, amidst all the recruitment pressure in the latter stages of the window.

And one of the key components of his new and improved squad has been the rapid development and maturity of Gray who has already proven a key facet of the German’s midfield, featuring in nine appearances for the first team.

Palace’s interest in Gray will come as no surprise to fans of the Eagles, with their recent transfer strategy focused on bringing in some of the Championship’s top young talent and giving them space to develop with regular football.

However, the 49ers Enterprises who also hold such ambitions of their own especially if Farke leads them back into the Premier League next season, will certainly count this interest as a desperate need to act and secure Gray’s future at Elland Road with his current deal coming to an end in 2025 [Transfermarkt].

Even if they were to fail in their English top-flight promotion bid, the fact that they tied down Gray to a new deal puts them in a strong position should the likes of Palace approach the negotiation table.

However, while a considerable financial boost may come in handy should they demand a considerable price on Gray, it could certainly send out the wrong message if they were to easily fold and sell him to the highest bidder.

It would make more financial sense if Leeds United were to give first-team opportunities for their academy talents, keeping them for at least a few years before agreeing to part ways for a huge and healthy profit.

But, with Gray just at the start of his development at Elland Road, both 49ers and Farke must strongly place a “hands-off” demand on their key and most prized academy asset.

In other Leeds United news, one journalist has shared what Daniel Farke did at half-time against Watford.