Confirmed: Leeds bid accepted by top-flight club
By Alex Stevens
Leeds have had a bid accepted by Irish club Limerick for teenage defender Paudie O’Connor, it has been confirmed.
Limerick manager Martin Russell has told the Irish Mirror that the Yorkshire giants have had their offer for the centre-back accepted and that personal terms have now been agreed.
Russell explained that the deal had been “finalised” and O’Connor is now set to make a cross-channel move and link up with Leeds.
It has been reported in the last 24 hours that O’Connor had agreed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Championship promotion hopefuls after he took to his personal Twitter account to say his goodbyes to League of Ireland premier division club Limerick.
— Paudie O’Connor (@Paudie97) March 6, 2017
The Irish club have now confirmed that the youngster is headed to one of English football’s most historic clubs.
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“Leeds had put in a bid and the last thing was for it to be finalised from Paudie’s side, and now that it’s done we wish him the best,” Russell told the Irish Mirror.
“The last time we were in the Premier Division he was getting games for us (O’Connor played 16 times) and last season he played in most of our games in the First Division (23 appearances).
“So it’s disappointing that he’s leaving us, we had hoped he would continue his progress in Limerick, but he wanted to explore the possibility of going across the water.
“There were a few clubs interested in Paudie but in the end Leeds liked what they saw and the clubs have agreed compensation. We’ll be watching how he gets on there.”
The Irish Mirror report that Scottish giants Celtic were one of the clubs in the race to sign O’Connor, who doesn’t turn 20 until July.
But the lure of the English leagues has appeared to have been key in Leeds enticing the Limerick native, who will link up with Jason Blunt’s Under-23s squad, where he will join forces with Ireland youth internationals Eoghan Stokes, Conor Shaughnessy and Callum Nicell.
Leeds’ senior side are next in action on Tuesday night when they face Fulham at Craven Cottage aiming to secure a third consecutive Championship triumph.
Monk’s side are fourth in the division and well placed to secure an end-of-season play-off spot.
In other Leeds team news, the club are to pounce and re-sign a 23-year-old after a £10million transfer is all but sealed.