Leeds: Dan James' Elland Road move could inspire 20 y/o gem with 'a lot of options'

Leeds United could raid arch-rivals Manchester United as they are keen on welcoming James Garner to Elland Road in the summer, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

Jesse Marsch was appointed as the Whites’ new head coach at the end of last month and it appears he has already set his sights on improving the squad he inherited from ex-boss Marcelo Bielsa at the end of the season.

What’s the latest news involving Garner?

According to The Sun, Leeds and Southampton are set to go head-to-head in a race to sign Garner from Manchester United.

The report suggests the Red Devils could be open to letting the defensive midfielder join a Premier League rival on loan in a bid to bolster his experience, but Marsch may prefer to strike a permanent switch despite Garner wanting to make the grade at Old Trafford.

Garner has become a wanted man after impressing since joining Championship side Nottingham Forest on loan – for a second time – until the end of the campaign.

The 20-year-old has been a regular fixture in Forest’s starting line-up and, despite being a defensive-minded midfielder, has also shown he can be a threat in the final third of the pitch by notching three goals and five assists heading into the weekend.

Garner is currently valued at £3.6million by Transfermarkt and his £20,000-per-week Manchester United contract is not due to expire until the summer of 2024, so the Red Devils are in a strong negotiating position if Leeds or Southampton decide to strengthen their interest.

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What has Dean Jones said about Garner?

Jones believes Garner will have a host of clubs looking to secure his services when the summer transfer window opens for business.

Although Leeds and Manchester United are arch-rivals, the transfer insider feels Garner should look at Dan James’ £25million switch last year as an example of a move across the divide paying off.

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “Obviously, Dan James has embraced the challenge at Leeds and feels that it’s a good place for him to now kick-on after leaving Manchester United.

“Garner, I think, is somebody that a lot of clubs will be looking at. Southampton are linked with him as well, so he could have a lot of options to consider.”

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Why is Garner of interest to Leeds?

As it stands, Garner would provide competition for the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich in the heart of Leeds’ midfield.

Although he does not have bags of experience in the Premier League, having only featured twice in the top flight, he has been involved in a lot of football in the early stages of his career.

Despite only being 20, Garner has already made more than 80 senior appearances at club level and won three England under-21s caps, so he clearly has an abundance of talent.

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