Dutch boss breaks silence on Newcastle United and Leeds’ ‘interest’ in young defender

The centre-back is attracting plenty of interest from Premier League clubs.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has discussed the future of reported Newcastle United and Leeds United transfer target Leon King.

The Scotland Under-21 defender has slowly made his way into the senior setup with the Scottish Premier League giants and was handed a surprise start in their Champions League defeat at Liverpool last week. King went on to make a substitute appearance when Van Bronckhorst’s side returned to league duty with a 4-0 home win against St Mirren on Saturday.

A number of clubs were believed to be at Ibrox on Tuesday night to assess the youngster’s performance in his side’s return game with Liverpool as he came on as a first-half substitute to replace the injured Connor Goldson.

However, King and his team-mates endured a difficult second 45 minutes as a Mo Salah-inspired Reds side romped to a 7-1 win after the two sides were level at the interval.  The centre-back - who part of the CAA Base agency that represents United duo Chris Wood and Kieran Trippier - will now hope to take advantage of Goldson’s injury and force his way into Van Bronckhorst’s side on a more regular basis.

Speaking about the youngster’s future and interest from elsewhere, the Rangers manager explained that King is ‘developing really well’ and insisted his ‘future is very bright.

He said: “I have not heard about any interest down south. Obviously, when you are performing well in Scotland, you get interest.

“Leon is a player who is developing really well. He already played some games last year but we wanted to make space for him to get more minutes. When he’s taking the minutes, he’s performing really well so I’m really happy.

“He’s only 18, he still has a lot to learn, but he’s one of the players who is open for coaching, who is open to put in the energy and work hard to better himself. His future is very bright, but he needs to continue playing well, training well. We’re helping him with that process and he’s developing really well.”

King will hope to earn another start when Rangers visit Motherwell on Sunday lunchtime.