One of this summer’s transfer sagas looks set to involve Leeds United and Tottenham, with the Premier League club looking to lure Jack Clarke out of Elland Road and to the Premier League.
Leeds blooded Clarke last season in the Championship and he scored two goals and registered two assists, impressing under Marcelo Bielsa.
Today, the Yorkshire Evening Post note nothing is agreed yet, but there’s a strong interest coming out of North London.
In this FLW Six Point Opinion, we tackle the situation…
Firstly, what do we know at this stage?
“There does seem to be plenty of interest in Clarke from Tottenham but as the YEP’s report states, things don’t look like they are at an advanced stage.
“Clarke hasn’t even returned to Leeds yet for pre-season, which is expected to kick-off at the end of June, so it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if little has happened.
“However, links between Spurs and Clarke are everywhere and there’s got to be something in that.”
Speculation isn’t going away and surely it is only a matter of time before a bid comes in?
“The length of the summer transfer window isn’t what it once was and we are nearly three weeks into June now.
“If Tottenham want Clarke, they are going to have to move soon and test Leeds’ stance over the 18-year-old.
“However, given the time they took to make a formal move for Jack Grealish last summer, it wouldn’t surprise me if Spurs played the waiting game.”
Will Leeds be open to Clarke’s sale?
“In my view, Leeds will be open to it and Clarke is probably the player they can afford to lose this summer.
“He’s a talented winger, but he isn’t crucial to Bielsa’s side and he could be replaced easily.
“Pulling in a decent fee for him could fund the whole summer at Elland Road and help Andrea Radrizzani block other key sales.”
Can you see Leeds looking to bring Clarke back on loan?
“This is an option that Leeds could try and negotiate, but it would surely depend on the fee Spurs pay for Clarke.
“If Tottenham pay £8-10m for him, Leeds might stand a chance of getting him back on a temporary basis. However, if Radrizzani pockets north of £12m then Spurs will be reluctant to see Clarke head back to Elland Road.
“It’s an option but it seems complicated.”
What will be running through Marcelo Bielsa’s mind through all this?
“Keeping Bielsa sweet this summer is going to be massive for Leeds, and whatever they do, they can’t go behind his back with any players sales.
“However, like most, you’d imagine that Bielsa will entertain Clarke’s sale if it means he can keep hold of Kalvin Phillips, Pontus Jansson and Kemar Roofe.
“That trio are so important to him and if Leeds are to stand any chance of promotion next season, keeping them on board is key.
“Bielsa will know that and will probably accept Clarke isn’t as vital, having only been involved in a handful of goals last season. Yes, he made an impact with his direct style, but it wasn’t in the same league as the contribution, Phillips, Jansson or Roofe made.”
Finally, what do you believe it is that Tottenham see in Clarke?
“Pace, skill, an eye for goal, but most importantly, potential.
“Clarke is 18 and only broke through at Leeds last season under Bielsa, but what he showed over the months of December and January was really encouraging. He can change a game with his pace and has goals in him.
“With the right development, which Mauricio Pochettino would give him, he could be a superb addition.”