By George Overhill

21st Jul, 2022 | 1:10pm

Phil Hay: Newcastle believe they can sway Leeds United winger Jack Harrison

Newcastle believe they can sway Leeds United winger Jack Harrison amid increasing speculation over his future, according to Phil Hay.

The 25-year-old is a target for the Magpies, who have reportedly made a bid of £18million for him [Football Insider] that is considered insulting and will be rejected [TEAMtalk].

When asked about a potential exit while on preseason tour in Australia he failed to commit remaining at Elland Road, although Hay suggests Harrison appeared unprepared for the question.

Writing in The Athletic on Thursday (21 July) Hay said: “Tell everyone you’re staying, Harrison was urged. We’ll see what happens, came the reply, which naturally provoked a double-take. The temptation to read between the lines is never greater than during a transfer window.”

While the Whites are not looking to sell and there is a large gap between the potential buyer’s and seller’s valuations, with Hay noting a £17million approach which was knocked back, the Saudi-backed side believe they can convince the player who has two years left on his current contract.

“Newcastle think they have the means and selling points to tempt Harrison but are understood to value him at a top price of £25million (around $30m) — some way below the fee Leeds would place on his head. At Elland Road, they would ask for upwards of £35million, based on Harrison’s progress with them”.

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Long game

There is no pressing need to sell during this window, and in fact it would be preferable to keep him even if there was decent money on the table after losing Raphinha to Barcelona.

But as Hay suggests, it will soon reach the point where the club need to make a decision on his future and as they value him that would mean extending his contract.

If Newcastle can get into his head, in a similar style to the way the Catalan giants were in the Brazilian star’s, he might decide against tying himself to Elland Road.

Come next summer that would leave the Whites at a disadvantage, needing to let him go at a knock-down price to avoid losing him for nothing.

That would leave them open to having to accept an offer akin to the those that are being reported from St. James’ Park during the current window.

Clearly that doesn’t mean that United should succumb to the Magpies’ advances now, but they will at least need to be making some strong counter-arguments to Harrison directly as to why his future lies at the club.

Eddie Howe’s side could be playing a sneaky game a few moves ahead and the Whites need to block it off quickly.

In other Leeds United news, the club can get their striker target for €25million as his side needs to move him on.