Leeds tipped to swoop for 'next Van Dijk' after manager confirms interest - pundit

Leeds United may try to sign Celtic youngster Leo Hjelde again this summer after his impressive form on loan at Ross County, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 17-year-old could be another “terrific” talent to move from Scotland to England.

As quoted by BBC Sport, Ross County manager John Hughes revealed Leeds “were after” the teenage centre-back before his temporary move in January.

The former centre-back also claimed the Celtic loanee “is going to be the next (Virgil) van Dijk”.

Hjelde has played nine times for Ross County since joining from the Hoops.

However, he is still yet to make his senior debut for his parent club.

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Van Dijk played 115 times before moving to Southampton and eventually becoming the world’s most expensive defender.

Meanwhile the likes of Stuart Armstrong and Kieran Tierney have also left Parkhead for England in recent years.

McLeish insisted Scotland had proven a great market for English clubs.

He suggested Hjelde could be the next talented youngster to move south of the border with Leeds sniffing around.

Asked if he thought Leeds could return for the teenager, McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Yeah, Leeds could. Scotland’s been a good hunting ground for a few of the big clubs.

“Celtic have, over the years, done good business with players like van Dijk. He’s not the only one they’ve sold for a big fee at the end of his Celtic career.

“If John’s young kid keeps progressing, his loanee, then there’s no doubting he can become another terrific foreign centre-half.

“It seems to be, over the years, the top teams in Scotland have gone for foreign centre-halves.”

In other news, Celtic tipped to sign the ‘next Dembele’ after Taylor reveal.