Teenage talent: Leeds are in the hunt for free agent Luca Murphy

According to TEAMtalk, Leeds United are one of a number of clubs looking to sign Luca Murphy following his release from Hartlepool United.

What’s the word, then?

Murphy departed Hartlepool by mutual consent and it is understood that there will now be a scramble for the 17-year-old centre-back.

According to TEAMtalk, Leeds want to sign him, but the Whites will have to compete with the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Back in December, it was reported that Fulham were interested in the teenager, who never made a first-team appearance for Hartlepool.

The Boot Room have described Murphy – released from his National league side due to financial issues – as ‘a ball-playing centre-back’.

It is certainly one to watch as a number of clubs battle for the in-demand defender, but Leeds face a huge task to convince the youngster to make the switch to Elland Road.

Do Leeds have a chance?

Of course they do; Leeds are a gigantic football club, but the fact that Man United and Tottenham are also in the hunt makes it very tough.

Meanwhile, the likes of Newcastle United, Leicester City, Cardiff City and Wolverhampton Wanderers have all been linked with a move.

At the moment, all of those clubs can offer something that Leeds cannot – Premier League football, but it remains to be seen what is important to Murphy at this stage of his career.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has certainly not been afraid to introduce young players this season, whilst the club’s Under-23 outfit are very impressive indeed.

Fending off interest from Premier League clubs will be tough, but could Bielsa’s desire to use and develop young players be enough to convince Murphy to come to Elland Road?

Nowhere else would the likes of Aapo Halme, Jack Clarke and Leif Davis be shown such clear paths to the first team, and Murphy would be wise to try his luck under the enigmatic boss. Likewise, as a ball-playing centre-half, Bielsa’s philosophy suits him perfectly.

If the teenager does move to Yorkshire, look no further than Bielsa as the primary reason why.