Crusaders winger Gavin Whyte is said to be on the brink of securing a move to England this summer by Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill as Leeds United are reportedly in hot pursuit of his signing.

The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Phil Hay, one of the most revered reporters covering what goes on at Elland Road, claims on his personal Twitter account that the Whites are keen on snapping up the 22-year-old winger after his impressive form with the Northern Irish Premiership champions, scoring 22 goals on the way to the title.

Now O’Neill has revealed that the goal machine is indeed looking set for a move over the Irish Sea and into English football, quoted by the Northern Ireland official Twitter account as saying: “We have watched Gavin Whyte for the last three years. He’s on the verge of a move to England and we hope this inclusion helps him.”

It has been claimed by the Belfast Telegraph that Leeds will have to fight it out with the likes of Doncaster Rovers and Crawley Town for the speed machine’s capture, the latter side said to have already made a verbal offer.

Football Insider verdict

Whyte’s sensational form over in Northern Ireland is obviously catching a lot of glances not only from domestic football but from international standings as well, and it has been rewarded with a call up to the national side. As O’Neill says, this is the time for Whyte to stand up and be counted if he does want to get that move over the line, and an impressive performance over the summer could well see some bigger sides join the hunt. Leeds will be hoping not, because out of Doncaster and Crawley, they are the biggest fish by some margin, and convincing him to move to Elland Road should be no difficulty if he believes he has the ability to make a difference. Still, it is not the proven Championship talent that the Leeds faithful desire so much and there will be serious hopes that if he does join, he does not follow in the footsteps of last summer’s signings.

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In other Leeds United news, a defensive colossus must be next to sign on the dotted line after a done deal at Elland Road.

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