By Wayne Veysey

24th Jul, 2021 | 7:45am

Sources: Leeds in advanced talks to sign 'new Van Dijk' who's 'very keen' to join after offer

Leeds United are in advanced talks to sign Celtic rising star Leo Hjelde and make him their seventh summer signing, Football Insider understands.

The Premier League club are working on a deal for the young defender, 17, as they continue to prioritise emerging talent deals.

A Leeds source has told Football Insider that discussions with Hjelde are progressing well and there is a growing confidence an agreement can soon be reached.

He has been offered a contract by Leeds and has indicated he is “very keen” to join.

The teenage Scandinavian, who turns 18 next month, is out of contract at Parkhead next summer and has long been courted by United, who regard him as a “gem” with immense potential.

Leeds have already paid significant fees for three youngsters this summer – midfielder Lewis Bate and forward duo Amari Miller and Sean McGurk.

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This site revealed on 22nd June that United had opened talks over a potential deal for Hjelde.

He was wanted by Leeds in January but instead joined Ross County for the second half of last season.

Hjelde has been targeted because of what Leeds consider to be his enormous potential.

He has blown away their talent spotters as well as former County manager John Hughes.

“He will reach the Premier League. Leo is going to be the next Virgil van Dijk, trust me on that, trust me,” Hughes told BBC Sport.

The defender has featured for Norway at youth international level, making a collective 16 appearances for the country’s Under-16s and Under-17s.

He made 12 appearances for Ross County last season, 11 of which were in the starting XI.

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