EXCLUSIVE By Peter O’Rourke
Southampton have tabled a £5million offer for in-demand Leeds United star Jack Clarke, Football Insider understands.
Crystal Palace have already bid £3million plus add-ons for Clarke during this month’s transfer window and now Southampton have approached Leeds over the teenager.
Clarke is one of the most sought-after young players in the country after impressing for Championship leaders Leeds in recent weeks.
The 18-year-old has been earning rave reviews for Leeds since making his first-team debut in October, scoring two goals in 14 appearances for the Whites.
All of the Premier League’s big guns are aware of Clarke’s potential and they have been sending scouts on a regular basis to watch the skilful attacker in action.
Southampton have a strong reputation for developing young players and giving them their chance in the Premier League and they see Clarke as a potential star in the making.
New Saints boss Ralph Hasenhüttl has made an immediate impact at St Mary’s with four wins in eight Premier League games to boost their survival hopes and the club are ready to back in the transfer market to strengthen the squad this month.
Leeds are determined to keep hold of Clarke as they look to maintain their push for promotion back to the Premier League, but Southampton and Crystal Palace have tested their resolve to retain their prize asset and further bids are expected for Clarke before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
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.