Leeds United won't match £100-a-week-plus Leicester City contract offer for Jack Harrison - Phil Hay
Leeds United will not match the contract offer that Leicester City were ready to give Jack Harrison now they have kept him, according to Phil Hay.
The Foxes were ready to give the winger over £100,000-a-week when they were on the brink of signing him for £20million on transfer deadline day, before the Elland Road hierarchy brought him back from his medical late in the evening, with none of the player, manager Jesse Marsch, or sporting director Victor Orta all apparently wanting him to leave.
The club apparently believe they can sign him to a new deal but they will not be giving him the amount he could have got if the move had gone through, which is what Sky Sports had reported on 2 February but have since deleted from their report.
The Athletic journalist said on The Phil Hay Show (3 February, 7min) that based on the deadline day events: “It’s perfectly reasonable to draw the conclusion that Leeds were minded to sell him at that point, were seriously considering the possibility that they might take the money for him, which would have been £20million.
“But as it is Harrison stays, he’s still at the club, I’d expect him to be in the squad against Forest on Sunday (5 February), and the plan is to sign him to a new contract, which incidentally will not be at the same level as Leicester were offering.
“Our understanding is Leicester were going to pay him six figures, it would have been £100,000-a-week plus for him. He’s not going to get that at Leeds. But Leeds think they can get him onto a new deal now.”
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It remains unclear who exactly tabbed Harrison to leave in the first place, with Hay saying: “If anything [Harrison] seemed minded to stay at Leeds. I didn’t get the impression that Marsch wanted him to go. From asking around I certainly don’t think Orta particularly wanted him to go.”
Clearly, if none of the player, the manager, and the sporting director wanted Harrison to leave then it must have been a decision driven at board room level.
Whether it was the Andrea Radrizzani side of things or the incoming 49ers is unclear, but whoever was in charge of it doesn’t seem to have handled it very well.
The January window was largely planned and executed excellently on the incoming deals, and the late opportunity to agree a deal that should make a profit on Diego Llorente represented good business.
But, whatever the pros and cons of selling Harrison to Leicester at the end of the day would have been, it does not seem smart to push him to travel and have a medical in case he was leaving, let him see what else is on offer, and then bring him back.
If Leeds United haven’t been able to agree a new contract with him before now then giving Leicester the chance to show him how much more money he can get if he doesn’t extend at Elland Road seems like a good way to make negotiations even harder.
In an otherwise impressive winter window, the conduct around Harrison doesn’t sound great, especially after Dan James’ experience at the end of the previous window, and 90min‘s report on 3 February suggesting the contract extension is in doubt without key assurances over his place at the club makes a lot of sense.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites held talks with two other Premier League sides over a potential sale on the final day as well.