By Richard Parks
Leeds United want to sign Hearts midfielder Harry Cochrane but face the prospect of having to pay a higher fee to secure a deal, according to a report.
The Scottish Sun claim the SPL club are trying to tie Cochrane, 16, down to a contract extension to fend off interest from Leeds and Premier League outfit Brighton.
It is said that Hearts are trying to protect themselves in the face of offers coming in for the central midfielder and that an agreement with the player “is thought to be close.
Former Rangers academy player Cochrane is a first-team regular for the Tynecastle club despite his age, making 18 appearances since he was handed his debut by Craig Levein in September.
His current deal with Hearts is due to expire in 2020 and they want to extend it until 2021, which is the longest that Scottish rules allow for a player of his age.
Football Insider verdict:
Leeds have been busy stockpiling their youth ranks with talent from across the club since Andrea Radrizzani took over as sole owner last May. But fans don’t want the promise of a better future, they want a team that delivers in the here and now. It is encouraging that Cochrane has established himself in Hearts’ first team despite his tender age, and he is clearly a precocious talent. Is he good enough to be in the starting XI at Leeds for a club where there is immense pressure and the weight of expectation? Perhaps not. Leeds fans want more players who can improve their team immediately, not in three years’ time.
In other Leeds United news, it can be revealed that NINE senior players at the club are in Radrizzani’s firing line and fighting for their jobs.