Leeds United have emerged as the frontrunners to sign Chelsea midfielder Lewis Bate, according to a recent report from the Daily Mail.
The lowdown: Leeds rivalling Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton for 18-year-old
Leeds’ interest in signing Bate this summer is not new, and they’ve now been joined by the likes of Liverpool, West Ham United and Southampton in the race to land his signature.
The Chelsea youngster has evidently caught the eye whilst with Chelsea’s academy teams, but it appears as though his long-term future is away from Stamford Bridge.
Bate has been with Chelsea since he was eight, but is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Blues, despite appearing on their substitutes bench on three occasions, including against Sheffield United in the Premier League last term.
The latest: Talks progressing well between both parties
Talks between Leeds and Bate have progressed well in the last 24 hours, and the Daily Mail claim that there is ‘growing optimism’ from the Whites that they can get this deal over the line in the near future.
Bate has reportedly turned down a new contract with the Blues over concerns about his future first-team opportunities with the Premier League side, which means he’s got just one year remaining on his current deal with Chelsea.
Victor Orta and co are apparently ‘long term admirers’ of the teenage midfielder, and are now leading the race to sign him.
The verdict: It’s a shrewd move in the long-term
This could turn out to be a smart bit of business by the Yorkshire-based side this summer.
We’ve already seen Marcelo Bielsa hand opportunities to some of Leeds’ academy players in the senior side in the past, with the likes of Jamie Shackleton and Pascal Struijk being just some of the youngsters to be given a chance in recent seasons.
Bate could be the next player to follow in their footsteps later down the line as well, with the Chelsea midfielder seemingly edging closer to reaching an agreement to play for a manager with a rich reputation of developing young talent.
There’s a clear pathway through to the first-team at Elland Road – just look at what Kalvin Phillips has done in the last few years – which makes it unsurprising that he’s seemingly keen on a move to become Leeds’ third summer signing over a move to a huge squad like Liverpool.
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