Leeds United remain interested in a deal to bring James McAtee to Elland Road in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to a report by the Daily Mail, who claim that, despite it being reported earlier this summer that Victor Orta had hoped to sign the Manchester City attacking midfielder on a permanent deal, the Spaniard remains keen on adding the 19-year-old to Jesse Marsch’s first team squad on a temporary basis ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
The report goes on to state that Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Villarreal are also keen on a move for the England under-20 international this summer, with Pep Guardiola believed to be willing to sanction a season-long loan for the midfielder – as long as he is given assurances that the teenager will receive regular game-time at his temporary club.
Considering just how exciting a prospect McAtee undoubtedly is, it is not difficult to understand why Orta appears so keen to bring the 19-year-old to Elland Road this summer, even if it is only on a season-long loan.
Indeed, the £2.7m-rated talent has continuously been one of the standouts in City’s academy, with the forward-thinking midfielder having scored 14 goals and registered eight assists over 33 appearances for the under-18s, bagging three goals over two outings for the under-19s and notching 27 goals and providing 19 assists over 52 fixtures for the under-23s. He has averaged a direct goal involvement every 90 minutes over his 87 appearances for the three youth teams.
These extraordinary returns saw Guardiola select the teenager in no fewer than 24 of his first-team matchday squads last season – including both legs of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid – with McAtee going on to make both his Premier League and Champions League debuts over the course of the club’s 2021/22 campaign.
As such, it is easy to see why Jack Gaughan stated his belief that the Salford-born starlet is “one of the brightest prospects in the country” at present.
It is simultaneously evident as to why Orta wants to add the “stunning” midfielder (in the words of Jordan Elgott) to Marsch’s options in the middle of the park next season, as McAtee very appears to be one of the next big things in English football.