Leeds United are hot on the heels of Motherwell wonderkid Stuart McKinstry even though the club are unsure if they will be in the Premier League or Championship next season.
Football Insider claim the 16-year-old winger has agreed personal terms with the Yorkshire giants and they have already agreed a fee of £400,000 including add-ons with the Scottish Premiership club.
IS HE SPECIAL?
Given that he has yet to make his senior bow, Leeds’ assessments of McKinstry have been based on youth-team football. The United recruitment team like what they have seen of the teenager, who does not turn 17 until September. He is mobile, direct, technically good and has the ability to glide past opponents. McKinstry is versatile, too. He can play in any of the attacking midfield slots behind the main striker. The rising star has already been named on the Motherwell bench despite his youth and was recently called up to the Scotland Under-17 squad. Given that Leeds have had to fend off interest from Southampton to agree terms with the youngster, he is clearly destined for big things.
WHERE WILL HE FIT INTO TEAM?
McKinstry is regarded as one for the future, rather than the here and now. But the lines between youth and senior side have been blurred since the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa to the extent that the academy players have never had a better opportunity to graduate into the first team. Jack Clarke and Jamie Shackleton have both established themselves in the senior squad this season and youth is no barrier to quick promotions. Like Clarke, McKinstry is a winger and he could be the ideal replacement for someone like Jack Harrison, the Manchester City loanee who has blown hot and cold this season and has not quite down enough to convince he is worthy of a permanent summer move.
McKinstry has football in the blood. He is the son of ex-Motherwell player John McKinstry, who plied his trade in claret and amber in the 1980s.