Henri Kumwenda could turn down a professional contract with Leeds United amid interest from Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool, according to Football Insider.
Kumwenda has talent spotters at some of the Premier League’s big-six clubs keeping close tracks of his situation in West Yorkshire, having overcome a spate of injuries to blow scouts away with his performances in the youth set-up.
The 18-year-old forward is set to become a free agent in the summer as his two-year scholarship deal penned in 2018 expires this season, though club chiefs are said to be preparing a professional contract offer.
Leeds are expected to present Kumwenda with the deal shortly, but there is doubt in whether the sought-after teenager will put pen to paper on the terms given the emerging interest surrounding his potential at present.
Clubs such as Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City are said to be keeping tabs on his situation before launching their attempts to sign Kumwenda, as each will have the resources that could lead to a compelling offer.
United are aware of the Premier League interest in the youngster, who joined our academy at the age of 11 and made his Under 23s debut against Sheffield Wednesday in February 2019.
Kumwenda is eligible to represent Mali and England at international level, having departed his homeland for the British Isles at fours-year-old.
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As well as making his debut against Sheffield Wednesday in 2019, Kumwenda haunted the Owls’ youth squad earlier this month by striking the decisive penalty to send the club through to the Fifth Round of the FA Youth Cup.
Losing his services to one of the Premier League’s big-six clubs would be a bitter blow for the Whites to take, as it will be seen around the world as United being inferior and unable to retain the services of some of our best emerging talents.
Getting Kumwenda to pen a new deal would do wonders in getting our academy seen as the place to develop, though, rather than joining a club that may have a title-ready first-team but chances of breaking through are far slimmer.
In other Leeds United news, a Sky Sports pundit doubts we would be any better off signing a £5m target this month.