By Wayne Veysey

11th May, 2017 | 12:43pm

Leeds agree deals with eight new players

By Harry Sykes

Eight rising stars have agreed to join Leeds United’s academy, the club announced on Thursday.

Leeds announced on their official website that the youthful octet have all put pen to paper on two-year scholarship contracts.

Oliver Casey, Jack Clarke, Theodore Hudson, Niall Huggins, Luke Lyons, Harrison Male, Lucas Odunston and Joseph Stanley have all signed scholarship contracts that run until the summer of 2019.

The Leeds site reports that a number of those who were unveiled by the academy have already represented the club’s Under-18s side this season.

The club were keen to stress in a statement that the aim of the scholarship at their Thorp Arch training headquarters is not just to prepare the youngsters for professional football.

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“Alongside football development, a scholarship at Leeds United provides an education programme which the players, who are aged 16 or under, will undertake during their time at Thorp Arch,” the website proclaimed.

The Leeds academy has an excellent track record in recent seasons of developing players for the first team.

Ronaldo Vieira, Kalvin Phillips, Charlie Taylor and Lewie Coyle have all graduated from the club’s youth set-up to play regular first-team football, as did Sam Byram and Lewis Cook before them before making big-money transfers to Premier League clubs.

Taylor is set to quit when his contract expires next month and is being hotly pursued by West Brom in a deal that could be worth between £4million and £7million.

In other Leeds United transfer news, the club are in a three-horse race to sign a top-flight captain who is desperate to make a move to the Championship big hitters.

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