Leeds United’s transfer pursuit of Wigan Athletic talent Joe Gelhardt is set to extend into next week following minimal progress on the deal since last weekend, according to Leeds Live.
It is understood that there have been positive talks held between Gelhardt and the Leeds hierarchy, with the teenager thought to be keen on a move to Elland Road, but the deal has stalled as a result of Wigan’s administration predicament.
The Latics are reportedly hoping to tempt other high-profile clubs into launching more significant bids for Gelhardt in an attempt to garner as much money from the sale as possible, with Everton and Rangers also reportedly interested.
Reports suggest Gelhardt also may want to wait for more substantial interest from these clubs before making a final decision, but Leeds director of football Victor Orta is thought to be pleased with how they have sold the club to the 18-year-old so far.
Gelhardt is attracting plenty of transfer interest this summer following an impressive breakthrough season at the DW Stadium, with the Liverpool-born talent having scored once in his 18 appearances for Paul Cook’s side this campaign.
Cook was guiding Wigan towards a respectable Championship finish before the club’s 12-point deduction after they went into administration, with this massive setback meaning the Latics were relegated from the second tier pending appeal.
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Leeds will definitely be eager to get this deal done as quickly as possible in order to reduce the risk of other clubs entering the race, but you can see why Wigan are perhaps looking to temporarily stall the deal in order to maximise their potential fee.
The DW Stadium outfit are in a dire situation at the moment as they deal with the consequences of entering administration, and it would be a real blow if they were to sell a talented player like Gelhardt for much less than his market value.
Leeds’ track record for developing young talent suggests Gelhardt should want a move to Yorkshire, but Everton and Rangers are also massive clubs and the 18-year-old’s Merseyside roots might well help Everton’s cause in this tussle.