EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey
Barnsley have opened talks with Leeds United to sign rising-star duo Mallik WIlks and Aapo Halme, Football Insider understands.
Football Insider broke the news on Wednesday that the newly-promoted Championship club are plotting a double raid on Elland Road for the United pair.
Discussions have now begun on a double deal, and there are indications Leeds are set to grant 2019-20 exits for forward Wilks, 20, and centre-back Halme, 21, as they close in on finalising their first summer signings.
Both rising stars are tied to long-term contracts at Elland Road, with their agreements running until the summer of 2022.
Finland Under-21 international Halme signed from HJK Helsinki in January of last year and has made five Leeds senior appearances to date, with the club having high hopes he can establish himself in the first team in the future.
Wilks has made just a solitary appearance for Leeds but has played extensively out on loan in the last two seasons, making a big impact in the last campaign at League One side Doncaster Rovers after previous spells with Accrington Stanley and Grimsby Town.
Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel has subsequently corroborated his club’s interest and hailed the versatile forward as a “very good player” who caused his side problems while at Doncaster last season.
Barnsley head coach Daniel Stendel on Leeds United striker Mallik Wilks:
“I think he’s a very good player. When I view back last season I think the games v Doncaster were for me both difficult games.. & he was 1 player who played very well against us.” #lufc pic.twitter.com/IsvQHP2lKd
— Adam Pope (@apopey) June 27, 2019
Wilks played predominantly as a left-sided forward at the League One outfit, scoring 16 goals from 55 appearances as well as supplying an impressive 12 assists.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a club transfer will be announced next Monday.