Championship

Clarke – I didn’t want to quit for Man City

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Striker Jack Clarke has revealed that he snubbed interest from Manchester City to stay at Leeds United because he has “everything I want right here”.

The Championship giants reported on their official website on Thursday that the powerful teenage striker had marked his 17th birthday by penning his first professional contract, a four-year deal that runs until 2021.

BBC correspondent Adam Pope subsequently reported on his personal Twitter account that Leeds fended off an offer from big-spending Premier League giants City to secure the deal for Clarke.

Clarke, who has been in impressive form this season for Leeds’ Under-18s and Under-23s teams, explained why he chose to rebuff interest from Premier League giants to stay at Elland Road.

He told the official Leeds website: “I’ve been here for so long, and I feel like I’ve got a good support behind me at the Academy. I wouldn’t want to leave when I’ve got everything I want right here”.

Clarke has made impressive progress through the ranks of the Championship giants after joining as a schoolboy.

He has been a prolific goalscorer for the club’s age-group teams for the last couple of seasons and has been in outstanding form in 2017-18, with nine goals in just seven starts for the Under-18s.

OPINION

If there was already not enough of a buzz around rising star Clarke, it has been cranked up a few notches by the BBC revelation that moneybags Man City were trying to sign him before Leeds tied the young goal machine to his first pro deal. Perhaps the offer of a four-year deal swung it for Clarke, as well as the promise that he will be fast-tracked into their senior side? City can certainly blow Leeds out of the water in terms of finances, but the player appears to have put his development and the inducement of senior game time ahead of his bank account. A smart career move by the forward, who appears destined for the top. It is also testament to the growing kudos of Leeds, who have been far more generous to their players since Andrea Radrizzani took sole control in May. Lengthy deals are now commonplace, and the by-product of this is that in-demand players want to stay.

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