Crystal Palace are believed to have been knocked back in their enquiries over the availability of 18-year-old Leeds winger Jack Clarke, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side seemingly intent on keeping hold of the teenager for their promotion push.
Whilst the Eagles are not thought to have tabled a firm bid for the Leeds academy graduate, it is understood that they have asked the Yorkshire outfit whether or not they would be open to a sale and if so, at what price. To their credit, the Championship table-toppers are reported to have rebuffed Palace’s advances but know that a bid for around £12 million would lead to a serious discussion as to whether or not they should consider cashing in.
Clarke still has more than two years left to run on the contract he signed 14 months ago at Elland Road and could well be operating at Premier League level by August with his current employers if things work out favourably for he and his teammates between now and the end of the season.
Neutral fans are unlikely to know a great deal about Jack given his relative inexperience at first-team level but after a string of substitute appearances, he was given his first club start at home to Derby last week and wowed those who watched, grabbing an assist and winning Man of the Match in a 2-0 victory.
Moves like this are always exciting from a fan’s perspective but as things stand, it’s difficult to see it getting off the ground without a sense of clarity over whether or not Leeds will be plying their trade in the Premier League next season. Should the Bielsa project hit the skids in the late months of the current campaign, seeing them drop out of the promotion places and fail in the play-offs, you’d assume we’d be one of a dozen or more clubs vying for Clarke’s signature but until such a time comes, the smart money would be on him staying put in the North West.