By Richard Parks
Leeds United have re-opened contract talks with Tom Pearce in a last-ditch attempt to prevent him leaving, according to a report.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claim the Championship giants have been in negotiations with the left-back’s agent in the last 48 hours in a bid to resolve the stalemate.
It is said that Leeds have made a U-turn as they now want to keep the defender and increase his wages after previously being willing to release him at the end of the campaign.
The Sun on Sunday (13 May, page 63) reported that Everton are working on a deal to re-sign the 20-year-old four years after he quit.
Football Insider verdict:
This does not paint Leeds’ recruitment team, or coaching staff, in a good light. It appears they had no idea had good Pearce was, even though he has been in their youth set-up for four years. They are left playing catch-up in an eleventh-hour dash to keep hold of him. In truth, the club have been totally wrongfooted by the progress of the youngster, whose performances in the final weeks of the season made the Premier League big guns sit up and take notice. Had he not started five matches at the end of the campaign due Gaetano Berardi’s suspension and long-term injuries to senior full-backs Luke Ayling and Laurens De Bock, it is unlikely Everton would be on his trail and he would also be heading out of Elland Road. A natural left footer who is mobile, energetic and composed in possession, many Leeds fans couldn’t believe Pearce hadn’t been promoted earlier given so many iffy displays from De Bock, Berardi and Ayling this season. There are few things supporters like more than academy products shining in the senior side and supporters will be hugely disappointed if he becomes the second left-back in 12 months to run down his contract and move up a division, after Charlie Taylor quit for Burnley last summer.