By Alan Hutton

28th Jul, 2021 | 6:00pm

Pundit 'wowed' as Leeds in advanced talks to sign defender

Alan Hutton has insisted Leeds United are a “massive lure” for young players amid talks to sign Celtic starlet Leo Hjelde.

The former Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he would be “very excited” to head to Elland Road as an up-and-coming talent.

As revealed by Football Insider (July 24th), Leeds are in advanced talks to sign the 17-year-old branded “the next Virgil van Dijk” by manager John Hughes.

The Ross County manager managed to beat Leeds to Hjelde’s signing on loan in January.

He told BBC Sport the teenager is destined to become a Premier League star.

Hutton admitted the chance to play at Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa would be hugely attractive to any young player.

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As such, he backed the Whites to convince Hjelde of a move to Elland Road.

Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “The next Virgil van Dijk? Wow.

“That’s a great opportunity. You go out on loan to improve as a player, he’s obviously done that. Whether he’s going to break through at Celtic, we don’t know at this precise moment in time.

“The opportunity to go down to such a big club and play under a manager who is a great guy, very exciting, very attack-minded, does everything right, it’s a massive lure.

“You’ll be part of the youth team but there is a pathway to break through into the first team.

“It would definitely excite me if I was a young guy, the opportunity to go to Leeds. I’m sure that’s one that could possibly happen.”

Hjelde, who turns 18 in August, is yet to make his Celtic debut.

However, he played 12 times during his loan spell at Ross County.

In other news, Man City agree to sign Leeds United player in surprise swoop.