Noel Whelan has slammed Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani for not handing Jack Clarke a bumper new contract soon after his first-team emergence.
United face a major battle to hang on to their academy product as Tottenham make concerted efforts to sign him this summer.
Football Insider broke the news last week that Tottenham have tabled two bids, the second of which was of £8million, for Clarke during what have been extensive talks between the two clubs.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Whelan is fuming that Leeds have not Clarke down to an extended deal to replace his first professional contract, signed on his 17th birthday in November of 2017.
“Jack Clarke was a big part of the team last season, he made a huge impact as soon as he broke into it, and that new contract should have been shoved in his face straight away,” Whelan said.
“Mr Radrizzani should have put his hand deep in his pocket and made Clarke a proper offer. Put a release clause in of, say, £13million, by all means, but the board should have been saying, ‘keep that young man happy, at the club and give him what he deserves for getting in the first team.
“That new contract should have been signed in January. Jack Clarke would have been shown how much Leeds wanted to keep him and wouldn’t have had his head turned by Tottenham. On this one, Mr Radrizzani has a lot to answer for.”
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a Whites fans favourite wanted by Premier League clubs is set to tell Marcelo Bielsa this week that he wants to quit.