Leeds United have submitted an offer for Sunderland rising star Joe Hugill, Football Insider has learned.
But the Championship leaders are set to lose out to Man United in the bid to prise the striker sensation, 16, from the Stadium of Light this summer.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that the club have made a move for Hugill and offered him a professional contract ahead of his 17th birthday.
However, the bid is set to fail as Hugill has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford.
The highly rated young forward has agreed a initial scholarship deal with United that will converted into a professional contract when he turns 17 in October.
The 20-times Premier League champions must still agree a compensation fee with League One big hitters Sunderland.
It is expected that the fee for the Black Cats academy product will eventually be settled at around the £300,000 mark given Hugill’s scholarship contract is about to expire.
It would be a blow to Leeds to lose out on such an exciting talent who has impressed their recruitment team during extensive scouting this season.
Hugill has demonstrated great promise in run-outs for Sunderland’s youth teams, most notably marking his Premier League 2 debut for the Under-23s in February with two goals against West Ham.
Leeds have invested heavily in their youth set-up since Andrea Radrizzani took over as owner in May 2017.
Manager Marcelo Bielsa has provided a clear pathway from the youth sides to the first team, with Jack Clarke – sold to Tottenham for an initial £9.5million last summer – and Jamie Shackleton the most notable successes.