Noel Whelan has urged Leeds United to take advantage of Derby County’s financial struggles by signing Louie Sibley this month.
The former Leeds striker and lifelong fan at Elland Road, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Whites could make “millions and millions” by snapping up the young midfielder for a cut-price fee.
As revealed by Football Insider earlier this month, Leeds are keen on signing the 19-year-old, as well as Derby teammate Jason Knight, after pushing for a deal last summer.
The Rams stood firm after slapping a £10million price tag on the versatile midfielder’s head but, as reported by the Sun, they may be forced to cash in on some of their players this month to solve their cash flow issues.
Whelan believes that Sibley will be in high demand after breaking through at Derby last season but that he could represent fantastic value for money.
Whelan told Football Insider: “You’re looking at deals, aren’t you? January is not a very good window to get people in so when a club is struggling financially and in the midst of a takeover, I think this is the time to strike.
“If it’s somebody that’s going to be really good for the future, and we know that we always want young lads and we always want young kids that are going to come in and do very, very well for us and progress, I think now people realise that we have a very good academy setup.
“There is a pathway there for people to break into the first-team and that’s been proven for the past three, four years – in fact, ever since I’ve been at the club – so it is there for players.
“You can never turn your nose up or turn a blind eye to a very good prospect that could potentially go on and be worth millions and millions of pounds and do a very good job for that club.
“The scouting network knows, people have already been raising eyebrows about Sibley and looking at him and thinking should we take the chance? I’m pretty sure Leeds United aren’t the only team looking at him as well. You’ve got to strike while the iron is hot and you’ve got to get in there first and make this happen.”