Leeds United are closing in on their third summer signing of the transfer window as a transfer update emerges on their pursuit of Wigan starlet Sean McGurk.
Reports in recent months had suggested Marcelo Bielsa’s side were eyeing up a move for the 18-year-old, who has yet to make a single appearance for the first-team with the Latics.
Speaking on The Phil Hay Show, The Athletic journalist Phil Hay previously said: “The incomings are quiet, and that was what we expected. I never rule out academy signings at Leeds, because they seem to be recruiting on that front all the time. McGurk, the youngster over at Wigan, again, that you mentioned is somebody Leeds are still interested in.”
And now, Football Insider claimed on July 6th that McGurk was undergoing his medical at Elland Road as he looks to complete his permanent move to the Yorkshire side.
It’s added that “the terms of a permanent move have been agreed following a breakthrough in talks. An industry source has told Football Insider Leeds are confident the transfer will be completed in the next 24-48 hours.”
After the success of Leeds’ U23s in clinching the Premier League 2 Div 2 title last season, there’s a real feel-good nature to the club’s academy side at the moment, especially with burgeoning talents like Sam Greenwood and Joe Gelhardt coming through.
Gelhardt in particular will know all about McGurk given that he too made the step up from Wigan to Leeds last summer, and it may well be just a matter of time before he’s reunited with the 18-year-old.
Able to play in central midfield or out on the right, McGurk has delivered signs of his potential, even scoring in consecutive games in the FA Youth Cup the season before last, including against Manchester United.
And, speaking earlier last year, Wigan’s U18s coach, Peter Murphy, said: “Sean (McGurk) was brilliant, he’s been amazing. He had a slow start to his scholarship with an injury in the summer, but since he’s been fit, he’s got himself into the team and stayed there. He’s so effective in games, he sets things up, he scores goals and he’ll always do that because of his ability.”
With both McGurk and Gelhardt at just 18 and 19 respectively, there’s a real chance for the duo to develop their previous off-pitch relationship at Wigan into an on-pitch partnership, especially given they play more offensively.
With deals already tied up for Amari Miller and Junior Firpo, Bielsa will surely be excited at the prospect of Leeds sealing their third summer signing in a talented prospect like McGurk.
You only have to look at Kalvin Phillips’ rise into an England international under his management to see the kind of work he can do with young players, and Bielsa will feel no different about working with McGurk.