Leeds United boss Brian McDermott will aim to keep academy-product turned first-teamer Alex Mowatt at Elland Road by offering him a new contract, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The 18-year-old, who turned professional in March, has shot to prominence in recent weeks, earning plaudits from both his team mates and manager after a succession of fine performances in midfield.

And in spite of his side’s recent poor run, United Manager McDermott has been quick to shield the youngster from any blame, telling the paper: “everyone knows what I think of him and how well he’s done. He’s got real ability.”

With just 18 months left on his contract, it is thought that the club will be looking to open up talks sooner rather than later, in a bid to ward off interest from any potential suitors in January.