By Olly Allen

16th Nov, 2021 | 3:10pm

Leeds United had bid rejected for Cardiff City youngster Cian Ashford

Leeds United had an offer rejected for Cardiff City youngster Cian Ashford in the summer, according to Wales Online.

The 17-year-old playmaker has been with the Bluebirds since the age of six and signed his first professional contract with the club in June.

Ashford scored 24 goals across the Under-16 and Under-18 age groups in 2020-21 and this season has broken into Cardiff’s Under-23 side.

WalesOnline, who describe Ashford as “a very highly thought of prospect”, claim that Leeds made a six-figure bid for him at the end of last season but this was rejected.

However, there is the possibility that the Whites could try again in the near future, while they face competition from other clubs.

Highly-rated talent

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Ashford is clearly very highly-rated in South Wales, where many people believe he has what it takes to break into Cardiff’s first team within a couple of years.

The question is whether the Welsh Under-18 international believes his best chance of making it in professional football would come at his boyhood club or further afield.

It also depends on how much Cardiff hold firm, as they are obviously in no mood to be selling one of their most promising prospects.

Leeds have a Category One-rated academy which will offer better facilities and opportunities than Cardiff’s Category Two academy; the Whites’ Under-23s also compete in Premier League Two Division One following promotion last season.

Going in again for Ashford would certainly suit the academy’s recruitment style, as they pinched Sean McGurk from Wigan Athletic and Lewis Bate from Chelsea in the summer.

In other Leeds United news, a Whites star has earned praise from his manager on international duty.