EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey

Barnsley are confident of completing the signing of Mallik Wilks from Leeds United by the end of the week, Football Insider understands.

The newly-promoted Championship club have leapfrogged second-tier rivals Hull City in the race for the forward, 20, after Marcelo Bielsa gave the green light for him to be sold.

A Leeds source has told Football Insider the club are close to agreeing a fee of more than £1million with Barnsley for Wilks after also receiving a bid from Hull.

The versatile forward’s preference is to join Barnsley and has been since Football Insider broke the news in the middle of last week that the Yorkshire outfit were working on a double Elland Road swoop for Wilks and Aapo Hame.

Barnsley subsequently signed Finnish centre-back Halme, for around £500,000, in a deal announced on Wednesday.

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They are now close to finalising the capture of Wilks and taking him permanently from the club where he has graduated from the youth ranks to make a mark in senior football.

Wilks has only played one senior match for Leeds, but has demonstrated his potential during three spells out on loan in the last two seasons, at Accrington Stanley, Grimsby Town and Doncaster Rovers.

The most successful of those was under new Hull boss Grant McCann at Rovers last season, where Wilks directly contributed to 28 goals from 55 appearances, with 16 goals and 12 assists.

In the latest Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a £6million-valued Elland Road ace has been given just a few days to find a new club.