LEEDS UNITED are hoping to push through a new deal for Jack Harrison before the end of the year in an attempt to ensure the midfielder is not the subject of fresh transfer interest from Newcastle United in January.
The Magpies made an unsuccessful attempt to sign Harrison during the summer, with Leeds turning down two separate bids for the 25-year-old.
Newcastle’s second offer is understood to have been worth more than £25m, underlining the extent to which the club’s recruitment team regard the midfielder as an appealing target.
While the Magpies solved their striker issue in the final few weeks of the summer window, breaking their club record to sign Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad, they failed to add the attacking-midfielder that Eddie Howe was also keen to recruit.
As a result, they will make the acquisition of an attacking midfielder or wide player their key priority when the transfer reopens in January, with Harrison expected to feature prominently on their wanted list.
The former Manchester City youngster entered the final two years of his contract this summer, with his current Leeds deal due to expire in 2024.
That makes the Whites potentially vulnerable to losing him over the course of the next 12 months, with the Leeds hierarchy keen to address the situation by tying him down to a new longer-term deal.
Leeds officials are ready to offer Harrison a long-term contract with a significant increase on his current earnings at Elland Road, and are hoping to be able to reach an agreement with the midfielder and his representatives before the end of the year.
Harrison has been a key performer in Jesse Marsch’s first team so far this season, making six Premier League starts and scoring in Leeds’ 3-0 win over Chelsea in August.
“I know he loves playing for the club,” said Marsch, when Harrison’s future was the subject of discussion earlier this summer. “He and I have a great relationship, and he knows how important I think he is to what we’re doing here in the future.”
Newcastle also retain an interest in Leicester City’s James Maddison, another player they made a series of unsuccessful attempts to sign in the summer.
Like Harrison, Maddison has also entered the final two years of his current deal, with his situation potentially further unsettled by Leicester’s ongoing troubles at the foot of the Premier League table.
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