The continued development of Leeds United Academy graduate Jack Clarke and his emergence at first team level in the Championship campaign of 2018/19 under manager Marcelo Bielsa has been a source of joy for fans who love a homegrown lad coming through the ranks.
The 18-year-old winger now boasts five substitute appearances to his name and he has impressed at the senior level, not least in his most recent showing at the beginning of December as we took victory over fellow high flying Sheffield United in the Yorkshire derby.
I have no doubts Clarke is being tracked by other clubs in the top two tiers given his progress, but I do doubt a recent report from the Sun that states Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has effectively been personally keeping tabs on the youngster.
Given how highly rated he is, I have no trouble believing their Under 23 setup and youth scouts are aware of him but I’d imagine Pep has slightly better things to do than scout potential for the future personally, as his ‘youth’ time would be taken up by their own Elite Development squad.
Claiming that Guardiola has been tracking him since he signed his first professional deal is a stretch, as are claims that he’s now ready to make a move for him after such little game time. City as a club do have a generic outstanding interest in him though.
I know the supposed big boys pick up and stockpile youngsters, but they do that before deals are signed where dictated nominal fees apply at Academy level. Yes, they tried to do that, but the fact he turned down City’s approach to sign our deal shows the lad has his head screwed on and he wants a pathway through to the first team at his club.
That alone should end the speculation as he’s getting what he hoped for. Mentioning Pep Guardiola personally in the report doesn’t make it more accurate or more likely.