By George Overhill

7th Mar, 2023 | 7:10am

Phil Hay drops Jack Harrison contract update as Leeds United form deserts him after cancelled Leicester City move

Leeds United are still talking with Jack Harrison over a new contract and remain “hopeful” that a deal can be reached, according to Phil Hay.

The Whites winger was on the brink of a permanent move to Leicester City on deadline day in the January window before he was called back from the Foxes’ training ground at the last minute.

He has been a regular starter in the matches since but his form has been a long way short of how he started the season, and Hay has speculated that coming close to leaving is having an ongoing effect.

Speaking on The Phil Hay Show on Monday (6 March, 25min 50sec) Hay said: “What I’m not prepared to do with Harrison is accept that what happened at the end of January had no impact on him at all.”

While accepting he doesn’t know the winger’s current outlook he delivered an update on the long-awaited contract, saying: “They’re still talking about a new contract for him. Leeds are still hopeful they can get that done.

“But I don’t think you can disregard the effect of being at another club’s training ground on deadline day, and being in the mindset that you’re about to be sold, even though, as seems perfectly apparent, Harrison didn’t want to go.”

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Mess of their own making

The January window was largely successful in terms of landing the targets the club went after and securing a surprisingly fruitful exit for Diego Llorente, but the Harrison element was weird.

Perhaps everyone should have seen the managerial debacle that started less than a week later coming when the club appeared to rule out a sale for the former Manchester City man throughout the month, only to physically send him to Leicester at the last.

With the player apparently not wanting to go that would have been difficult enough for him, but to then be brought back just as he was likely getting his head around the situation has left an unsatisfactory situation all round.

Harrison has been a shadow of his best for a long time now, which doesn’t help his side in contract negotiations, while the club have shown they were not entirely committed to him after coming so close to selling him, and are not going to pay him what he was due to get at the King Power.

It would have obviously been a risk to let him go to a direct rival in the relegation battle, but unless the contract that has been on the cards for months now materialises it may have been the last chance to get decent money for him.

The £20million that Leicester were set to spend [Sky Sports, 2 February] is already a long way short of the £40million-plus the club were asking for from Newcastle at the start of the season [Foot Mercato, 1 August], and in light of his form and only having a year left it could even struggle to reach that if he ends up on the market in the summer.

In other Leeds United news, the club’s £500million takeover is due to be rubber stamped on 1 July but is now “hanging by a thread”.

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