Leeds United are engaged in crunch talks with 20-year-old defender Tom Pearce over a new deal at the club but wages are proving a stumbling block as D-Day approaches, according to a journalist.

Phil Hay, the Yorkshire Evening Post’s chief football writer, has claimed on his personal Twitter account that the Whites are keen to secure the young left back on a new contract after his breakthrough campaign, although with the retained list set to be released on Saturday the club are facing pressure to get him to commit terms.

While Pearce, as an under-24 player, can be named on the list, his contract situation means Leeds face a fight from another English side poaching him from under their nose and paying compensation for his capture rather than a transfer fee.

It is said that finding a compromise to his wage increase is the biggest issue.

Football Insider verdict

Pearce is one of the club’s breakthrough young stars of the last 12 months, impressing in his five appearances for the senior side, and Leeds will be ruing the fact they have left securing his future so late. Losing him to another club for compensation will be a big kick in the teeth, both morally and financially, for the compensation is unlikely to be anywhere near the amount they would demand as a transfer fee. The Whites will be hoping that his handful of senior appearances has not drawn the attention of too many clubs, and that they can get pen to paper over a deal before any new suitors start circling. As for Pearce, he is just starting out in senior football but already has a big decision to make. If he decides that Elland Road is not the place for him to continue developing, then Leeds have little power to stopping him making a move elsewhere. 

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