Leeds United closing in on deal for Wigan Athletic starlet

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It's a great time to be a Leeds United fan.

After securing promotion in convincing style last term, attention now turns to an exciting return to the Premier League.

It's been 16 long years since the Whites graced the top flight and you can be assured that they're taking the challenge seriously.

While winning the Championship title was nothing short of a breeze for Marcelo Bielsa's side, next term will be a much more daunting prospect.

If Leeds were to underestimate the increase in quality going into the Premier League then they're in for a rude awakening when September rolls around.

If the Yorkshire side are to adapt to life at a higher level then they're going to need reinforcements.

But thankfully for supporters it seems that one deal could be completed shortly.

Football Insider have reported that Leeds are close to signing Joe Gelhardt.

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The Wigan Athletic prospect is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in the EFL after breaking into the first team fold at the DW Stadium.

But with the Latics facing an uncertain financial future it means that the recently-relegated side are under pressure to raise funds, meaning that the 18-year-old is available for a cut-price fee.

Leeds are keen to add talented young players to their ranks and reports claim that they've agreed 'a seven-figure fee' for the striker.

That means that a deal could be completed as early as this week with the Premier League newcomers beating reported competition from Celtic, Everton and Rangers FC.

It remains to be seen whether Joe Gelhardt would be seen as first team regular at Elland Road, but giving his growing status in the game it won't be long until we see him at the highest level.

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GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

This would be a real signal of intent for Leeds United.

While the Whites will need to sign established players to improve the quality of Marcelo Bielsa's first team squad it's important to have one eye on the future as well.

Joe Gelhardt is a player who looks destined for the Premier League and that means that a move to Elland Road could be great for the youngster.

While he might not be a first team regular this term, playing alongside some of the players in Leeds' set-up will do wonders for his ability and confidence.

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If he can play a supporting for Bielsa's side this term then he will improve significantly.

However it may also be the case that he's very much signed with one eye on the future which could mean a loan spell to the EFL could be on the cards.

Whatever the plans of the Yorkshire side it seems like a shrewd deal and one that fans will be pleased with should it go through.

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