Report: Neil Warnock set to beat Leeds and West Ham in race for Boro teenager
Football website 90Min have claimed that Neil Warnock is set to fend off interest from Leeds United, West Ham United and Chelsea and tie down the future of highly-rated Middlesbrough youngster Pharrell Willis.
Willis, 18, has caught the attention of multiple Premier League clubs after some excellent performances for Boro’s Under-18 side this season – scoring eight goals in 22 Under-18 Premier League games from numerous positions.
Naturally a midfielder, Willis has been used in the middle of the park, on both flanks, as a no.10 and even up front by Boro’s Under-18 side. He also scored in Boro’s FA Youth Cup run, eventually losing to Ipswich in the round of 16.
90Min state that Leeds, West Ham and Chelsea were keen on London-born Willis, but that Boro have now agreed a long-term deal with the teenager – who is happy to remain on Teesside. Confirmation is yet to be announced.
TBR’s view – Orta hard at work
Leeds have invested heavily in their Under-23 side in recent seasons, and it is clear that Victor Orta – along with the rest of the Leeds recruitment team – will look to bring in additions for Mark Jackson once again this summer.
Leeds saw their Under-23 side promoted to the top tier of Premier League 2 this season, but the likes of Cody Drameh, Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood are likely to become proper first-team players over the next 12 months.
Additions are required and Willis would have been a decent signing – but it appears he will be staying with Warnock.
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