According to The Sunday Mirror (May 26, Page 69), Leeds United have slapped a £20 million pricetag on Jack Clarke’s head.
This comes just a few days after Tottenham reportedly offered just half that amount for the 18-year-old’s services.
£20 million for a relatively unproven Championship player seems like an excessive amount.
Clarke may have had a breakout season under Marcelo Bielsa, but his form dipped massively after he was taken to hospital partway through the game against Middlesbrough in February.
That incident seems to have severely dented his confidence, and he now doesn’t play with the same amount of confidence and swagger as he used to.
Of course, the form he initially showed could quickly be recaptured, and playing under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino could be the best thing for him, but for the London club to pay £20 million for him would be extremely risky.
Victor Orta will be well aware that the fee they are asking for will prove too much for many of Clarke’s potential suitors, and that asking price is clearly meant to act as a deterrent.
The Whites have asked for £20 million full well knowing that nobody would pay that for a player who has played just 814 minutes of Championship football, but if they do, Bielsa’s side will be getting a significant windfall.
Orta has set up a win-win situation for the Yorkshire outfit as they will now most likely be able to keep hold of their most promising talent, but if he does leave they will be getting a fantastic price for him.
Tottenham surely will look elsewhere after being quoted that price for the youngster, but that doesn’t mean that in a few years they won’t be back to have another look at the teenager after he has developed further.