By Alex Stevens
Alex Mowatt will complete a permanent transfer from Leeds to Barnsley on Friday morning, according to a reliable journalist.
Independent correspondent Jack Pitt-Brooke took to Twitter to provide an update on a switch that has grown increasingly likely since reports of the Tykes’ interest in the Elland Road academy product was broken on Thursday.
Pitt-Brooke reported on his personal Twitter account early on Friday that the deal is now done and Mowatt “will complete his permanent move from Leeds to Barnsley this morning”.
The reliable journalist added that Mowatt had agreed a two-and-a-half year contract with Paul Heckingbottom’s side, keeping him at Oakwell until the summer of 2019.
Told that Alex Mowatt will complete his permanent move from Leeds United to Barnsley this morning. 2.5 year deal.
— Jack Pitt-Brooke (@JackPittBrooke) January 27, 2017
The potential departure of Mowatt in the January window has come out of the blue, although Barnsley’s need for reinforcements is clear after a spate of exits including striker Sam Winnall, right-back James Bree and midfielder Conor Hourihane to second-tier rivals this month.
Leeds manager Garry Monk insisted earlier this month that no senior players would leave the club before 31 January.
The Yorkshire giants finalised the loan exit of frozen-out midfielder Toumani Diagouraga to Ipswich on Monday but, unlike the 29-year-old, Mowatt has been a member of the matchday squad all season.
The 21-year-old playmaker has made 20 appearances in all competitions, although only seven of those have been starts and he has principally been used as a substitute since October.
Leeds chiefs appear to have overridden Monk’s wish to keep his squad intact as the club push for a return to the Premier League after 13 years.
With Mowatt out of contract in the summer as well as out of the team, the green light has been given for him to find a new club.
Football Insider verdict:
If Mowatt is to quit the club in which he has emerged through the ranks with distinction, there will always be a lingering sense of regret among Leeds officials and fans. He was the 2014/15 player of the year, the man the team was apparently going to be built around for years to come. But, unlike Lewis Cook, Sam Byram and, most probably, Charlie Taylor, too, Mowatt is not moving upwards to the Premier League but downwards to a side below Leeds in the Championship table. The 21-year-old doesn’t have the hyper-energetic game needed to thrive under Garry Monk and it is clear that his face doesn’t fit. For all Leeds fans, that is a shame.
In other Leeds news, there has been a finale in a major deal after a £7million Leeds bid was tabled.