By Russell Edge

14th Dec, 2017 | 5:00pm

Leeds and Everton battle for future of 18-year-old goal scoring speed machine - report

Leeds United face a fight from Premier League side Everton to keep hold of attacking prospect Mallik Wilks, according to a report.

The Daily Mail claim on their website that the Toffees have been joined by fellow top flight side West Brom in carrying out prolonged scouting missions for the 18-year-old forward, who is currently on loan at League Two side Accrington Stanley, and that a January swoop could be in the offing.

News of their interest comes after Football Insider exclusively revealed that both Everton and Newcastle were keen on snapping up the youngster last month, while Garry Monk, his former boss at Leeds, was also said to be interested in taking him to Middlesbrough.

Speed machine Wilks, who is able to play as a central striker or on the left wing, has scored five goals in 20 appearances for his loan side this season, while he made his senior debut for Leeds in the club’s FA Cup defeat to Sutton United last season.

His current deal with Stanley is set to come to an end during the January transfer window and will see his contract with Leeds expire in the summer, meaning the Whites face a battle to secure his future.

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Wilks must be doing something right if the likes of Everton are on his tail, and with his contract situation at Leeds, the Toffees must be hoping to capitalise. However the Whites will know that offering him regular football to help in his development could make all the difference moving forward, especially if they can prove their aspirations of breaking into the top flight soon, handing him the chance to fire the club to the success they crave. However, if he is reluctant to commit at Elland Road, then they may have no choice but to cash in on the hot prospect, which would come as a huge frustration to the club.

In other Leeds United transfer news, Thomas Christiansen must sort out his problem position by signing this youth international set for the exit in January.

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