Leeds United are set to complete the signing of Wigan Athletic’s Joe Gelhardt early next week, reports the Daily Star.
Gelhardt, 18, has been linked with several clubs over the past few weeks. Leeds though have been strong favourites to land the striker, and now it looks as though they’ll announce the signing in the coming days.
The price is set to be less than a million – £900,000 is being reported by Daily Star. It comes after Wigan entered administration at the start of last month, and their club has since been picked apart by rivalling Championship sides.
Wigan have since lost their appeal and will head into League One, but not without losing some more of their first-team players along the way – Kieffer Moore, Jamal Lowe and Antonee Robinson all look destined for the exit.
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As for Leeds, they’re preparing for a Premier League return, a whole 16 years after their fall from grace. Gelhardt likely won’t be a regular feature next time round, but he could yet return to the Championship on-loan.
He featured 18 times for the Latics last season, scoring once, but Marcelo Bielsa is said to be a big fan of the youngster and could yet offer him to Championship clubs for the new season.
This is a good signing for the future. Gelhardt has shown the potential and the fact that Bielsa is so keen on him proves that the Leeds boss has done his research, and that Gelhardt fits the bill.
It’s hard to see him being a first-team player next season though – unless Leeds fail to recruit any more strikers – and it could take some time for him to break into the starting line-up.