By Pete O'Rourke

24th Jan, 2020 | 1:33pm

Exclusive: Hull City steal march on Leicester City by submitting starlet bid

Hull City have had a bid rejected by Stockport County for highly-rated defender Festus Arthur, Football Insider understands.

The 18-year-old centre-back has emerged as a transfer target for a number of clubs, including Premier League high-flyers Leicester City, after catching the eye for the National League side this season.

A source at Hull has told Football Insider that the Tigers hoped to steal a march in the race for the teenager’s signature by firming up their interest with a bid.

However, the non-league outfit have rebuffed the Championship club’s initial offer, even though the central defender is out of contract this summer and could leave for nothing at the end of the season.

It remains to be seen if Grant McCann’s men will return with an improved bid or whether some of Arthur’s other suitors, which include Barnsley and Ipswich, may move for the powerful defender before the transfer window closes next week.

The teenager has been earning rave reviews for Stockport this season in the National League and the player is understood to be keen to given the opportunity to play at a higher level.

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Arthur has been a mainstay in Jim Gannon’s Stockport side making 24 appearances, helping them to eighth place in the National League with a number of commanding displays.

Hull meanwhile sit 12th in the second tier of English football, manager McCann looking to bolster his side with reinforcements before the end of the window.

In other Hull City news, it can be REVEALED why the club have given the green light for a defender to move this month.