Leeds United are reportedly interested in raiding Manchester City for a second time this summer in a move to sign young defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis – and Pep Guardiola raved about him last season.
Leeds are seemingly looking at targeting younger players. Charlie Allen, 16, joined Leeds from Northern Irish side Linfield on Tuesday, while 18-year-old Joe Gelhardt moved to Elland Road from Wigan on Monday.
Harwood-Bellis is just 18, and the England Under-19 international has clocked up four senior appearances for City – even scoring against Port Vale in the FA Cup. Despite that, though, he has entered the final year of his contract.
The Daily Star has claimed that Leeds are interested in raiding City for a second time – after engineering another loan for Jack Harrison – to sign Harwood-Bellis. Guardiola is a fan, labelling him brilliant in December.
“Eric [Garcia] and Taylor sustained the attacks incredibly well,” Guardiola told the Manchester Evening News after a Carabao Cup win over Preston. “I was really impressed. With the ball they were brilliant.
“Without the ball they defended tough situations against fast and tall players. They did it really well. I’m very pleased for them and congratulated them because they were extraordinary.”
TBR’s view – Harwood-Bellis an excellent addition
Young, English, and already a youth international – Harwood-Bellis is the perfect example of a player that combines the modern ability of a centre-back in terms of possession and pace, but also an old-fashioned, tough-tackling style.
Leeds need defenders. Gaetano Berardi is out of contract, Ben White is yet to be replaced – or signed – and that leaves just Liam Cooper in terms of first-team centre-backs. Harwood-Bellis may not start, but he would be good cover.