Newcastle and Aston Villa both held deadline day talks with Leeds United about a move for Jack Harrison, according to 90min.
The Whites winger came within about an hour of a £20million move to Leicester City on Tuesday (31 January) before he was called back from the King Power after completing the first part of his medical.
A bid from Brendan Rodgers’ side had come in a week earlier [David Ornstein, 28 January] but appeared to have bene unsuccessful, before a change of heart on the final day of the window saw the 26-year-old permitted to travel, before another late reversal from Elland Road pulled the plug.
But it appears that the Foxes weren’t the only side in the running as the hours counted down, with both Villa and Newcastle having discussions over a late move.
90min report: “Leeds decided to accept an approach for Harrison worth around £20m from Leicester. 90min understands that Aston Villa and Newcastle also held talks on deadline day.
“The Foxes believed they were on course to sign Harrison, strengthening their wing options further after bringing in Tete from Shakhtar Donetsk, and the player even underwent a medical.
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“However, Leeds pulled the plug on the deal, much to Leicester’s annoyance after they allowed Ayoze Perez and Marc Albrighton to leave the club.”
The Magpies had pursued Harrison through the summer transfer window but never came close to the Leeds United asking price at the time.
Now, despite the players’ form dipping the ensuing months, it appears there was still a fairly significant market for him as the window closed.
£20million was nowhere near what the club were asking at the start of the season so perhaps the price drop had clubs eyeing a steal, but his contract now only has 18-months left to run and that value will only reduce further without an extension.
Having spent heavily to sign Georginio Rutter in the January window, and with the emergence of both Willy Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville as established first-team players, there is now less reliance on Harrison who had been a key player during last season’s relegation battle and before.
So cashing in while there is still the chance to do so does make some sense, and having let him get as close to an exit as he did it is surprising that the club hierarchy then changed their minds.
Selling to Newcastle now seems like a more sensible option if he did leave, given that they are no longer direct rivals since their ascent into the top four.
But Sky Sports reported on 2 February that Leeds are now prepared to match the improved contract that was on offer at Leicester to extend Harrison’s stay and pay him “significantly” move.
So there is clearly a plan behind the scenes but right now it is unclear what the long-term goal is and how long it will end up keeping the former Manchester City man at the club.
In other Leeds United news, another Whites ace has been discussing a potential Elland Road exit to play abroad.