Rangers are making progress on tying Leon King down to a professional contract, Football Insider can reveal.
The rising-star defender, who turned 16 last month, rejected the club’s initial offer of a deal amid strong interest from Man United, Tottenham and Arsenal.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider there is growing conviction at the club that King will put pen to paper on a long-term deal following encouraging recent talks.
— Ashlie King (@AshlieKing14) January 17, 2020
Manager Steven Gerrard has personally intervened to persuade the teenager, who is regarded as the cream of an exciting crop of youngsters emerging from their youth ranks, his future is best served by staying at the club.
The Scottish giants are desperate to avoid losing King in the same way as another of their brilliant academy products Billy Gilmour, who was enticed to Chelsea two years ago.
Gilmour is making a big impact south of the border and was on the sub’s bench for last night’s 3-0 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.
King has yet to make his senior Rangers bow but he is making waves at youth-team level, where he has been playing above his own age group for many years.
Significantly, he was made part of the matchday squad for the 2-0 Scottish Cup win against Stranraer last month and travelled on the team coach to the game.
King, who captained Scotland Under-17s against Hungary earlier this month, is regarded as just as promising as Gilmour was a few years ago.
Football Insider revealed in December that Tottenham and Wolves have joined Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal, as well as Bundesliga big guns RB Leipzig, in the race to sign King.
In Scotland, professional terms can be signed at the age of 16, one year earlier than in England.