Leeds United chairman Ken Bates says the club took advantage of Portsmouth`s financial problems when signing Jason Pearce, a player manager Neil Warnock thinks is an exceptinal signing.
The South coast club are currently in administration and are facing up to life in League One next season following relegation from the championship.
Leeds landed the defender on a four year deal for an undisclosed fee last week.
Bates says that Pearce has been a player that Leeds boss Neil Warnock has wanted to bring to the club since his arrival in February.
Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Bates said, “Neil thinks he is an exceptional signing. He has been stalking him for about three months and he is taking advantage of Portsmouth`s financial problems.
“We have had him under wraps for almost a month before it was leaked out from Portsmouth.”
The 24 year old picked up a number of player of the season awards at Fratton Park this season following on from picking up the same accolade at previous club Bournemouth the previous season.
Bates believes that Warnock sees Pearce and fellow youngster Tom Lees has his centre back partnership next season. “I think Neil sees Jason and Tom Lees as his centre backs for next season,” added Bates.
Warnock has been complimentary about Lees since his arrival at Elland Road and he said recently that the he was almost the first name on the team sheet.
The 21-year-old made 45 appearances for Leeds in his first season involved in the first team and despite signing a new deal last September, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2015, Leeds are to offer the versatile defender an improved contract this summer.
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