By Wayne Veysey

24th Sep, 2020 | 5:00pm

Exclusive: Sunderland respond to Leeds move to sign young midfielder

Sunderland have rebuffed Leeds United interest in Sunderland rising star Daniel Neil, Football Insider has learned.

This site revealed in July that United were among leading Premier League clubs keen on prising the central midfielder, 18, from the Stadium of Light.

There were fears that Neil could become the latest highly prized youngsters in recent times to quit Sunderland.

But a recruitment source has told Football Insider that Leeds have lost out in their attempts to lure Neil to Elland Road.

United have made strenuous efforts to bolster their youth ranks this summer and have spent a considerable amount of money on doing so.

They completed the signing of Dutch forward Crysencio Summerville in a £1million-plus deal last week after previously landing striker Joe Gelhart, defender Cody Drameh and forward Sam Greenwood for major fees.

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Greenwood arrived from Arsenal just two years after quitting Sunderland aged 16.

Leeds’ recruitment team had seen Neil as capable of making the step up from Under-23s football to playing in the Premier League.

The goalscoring central midfielder has yet to play for the Sunderland first team but was on the bench for their EFL Cup defeat to Hull City earlier this month.

He has already played 29 matches at Under-23s level after being a regular goalscorer from midfield for the Under-18s.

Sunderland have seen a vast number of top academy products quit their ranks in the last two years.

Among those, Josh Maja and Balu Mumba were the most high-profile departures but they have also lost Sam Greenwood to Arsenal, Luca Stephenson to Liverpool and Logan Pye and Jordan Hugill to Man United.

In other news, a northern club have opened talks to sign Leeds United ace who can play defence and midfield.