EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Four unnamed Premier League clubs are planning to table big-money bids for Jack Clarke in this month’s transfer window and test Leeds United’s resolve to hang onto their prize asset, Football Insider understands.
Clarke has been earning rave reviews for Leeds since making his first-team debut in October and his performances have not gone unnoticed among the English top flight’s big guns.
A well-placed source has told Football Insider that up to four Premier League clubs are preparing moves for Clarke as they see him as a potential star in the making.
Delay in contract talks between Leeds and Clarke has given the winger’s suitors encouragement that he could be lured away from Elland Road this month with a big money offer.
Clarke’s suitors, made up of the quartet of Premier League outfits are expected to watch the exciting teenager in action in Friday’s clash with Derby County before firming up their interest to Leeds in the player with formal offers.
The 18-year-old has been mainly used as an impact substitute by Marcelo Bielsa in the Championship so far this season, but he is now pushing for a regular starting spot such has been his impact off the bench.
Clarke came off the bench to score his first goal for the club against Aston Villa just before Christmas and spark Leeds’ dramatic 3-2 win after being 2-0 down at Villa Park.
The skilful attacker also scored in the defeat to Nottingham Forest on New Year’s day as well as creating the winner for Pablo Hernandez against Sheffield United at the start of December.
In other Leeds United transfer news, it can be revealed the club have opened preliminary talks to sign the leader scorer of the league leaders.