By Pete O’Rourke
Leeds United’s recruitment team have been blown away by French rising star Enzo Valentim as the club line up a move for him, Football Insider can reveal.
The Reims II star, 18, is attracting interest from the Yorkshire giants and Stoke City as well as Premier League big guns Liverpool following his breakthrough campaign in France last season.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider the club are keeping close tabs on Valentim as they look to recruit another richly talented youngster with the potential of being fast-tracked into the first team.
Director of football Victor Orta is ready to make a move for the French youth international in a bid to persuade him to move to Leeds before the transfer window shuts.
Scouts from the club have delivered glowing reports of the potential of the teenager, who has already clocked up 36 first-team appearances in his burgeoning career.
Capped by France at Under-19 level, he came through the ranks at Tours and is regarded as player with the potential to play at a very high level in his homeland.
Football Insider earlier Leeds’ initial interest in Valentim last week, although they will have to move quickly and be persuasive if they are to fend off Stoke, never mind Champions League holders Liverpool.
The Championship duo do have one advantage in that they can offer Valentim, who is currently playing for Reims II in the fourth tier of French football, a quicker pathway to senior football.
Marcelo Bielsa has demonstrated during his year at the helm how willing he is to fast-track rising stars from the academy into the senior set-up, most notably now-established pair Jack Clarke and Jamie Shackleton.