Leeds United are in the race to sign Brighton and Hove Albion starlet Aaron Connolly in January, but their chances of signing the striker have taken a blow, with Manchester United and Celtic also in pursuit, according to reports from the Scottish Sun.
The 18-year-old has attracted a host of clubs ahead of the January transfer window, after impressing in the Premier League 2 division for the Seagulls’ under-23 side, where he has scored 17 goals in all competitions and has claimed the Player of the Month award for November.
The report claims that Manchester United, Manchester City, Celtic and Bundesliga side Hoffenheim are all interested in signing the Republic of Ireland under-19 star, who also scored five goals in three games for Brighton in their Checkatrade Trophy campaign this term.
Connolly has made just two senior appearances for Brighton in his short career, with his recent cameo coming in their 1-0 defeat to Southampton in the Carabao Cup in August, where he came on as a late substitute – it is understood, though, that Chris Hughton is looking to loan the youngster out in January, before the club opens talks over a new, long-term deal.
Leeds will also have to rival Championship duo Queens Park Rangers and Millwall if they are to complete a deal to sign the forward – but with high-profile interest in the teenager, Championship sides could be priced out of a move.
Connolly definitely looks like a really promising player, who has been in incredible form for Brighton’s reserve squad this term.
He isn’t likely to break into the first-team anytime soon, what with a host of forwards higher up in the pecking order – the likes of Jurgen Locadia, Florian Andone and Glenn Murray.
A loan move would probably be the best option if Leeds were to land the 18-year-old, but competition from the likes of Celtic and Man United will make completing a deal extremely difficult.
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