Tottenham Hotspur rival Newcastle United for Leeds prodigy dubbed ‘next’ Kalvin Phillips

Elland Road, the home of Leeds UnitedElland Road, the home of Leeds United
Elland Road, the home of Leeds United | Getty Images
Newcastle United have made academy signings a key priority since the Saudi-backed takeover

Newcastle United face stiff competition from Tottenham Hotspur for Leeds United youngster Ollie Pickles, according to reports.

The Magpies have prioritised youth development - an area previously shunned - since the Saudi-backed takeover. Potential stars like Garang Kuol, Alex Murphy and Yankuba Minteh all arrived with hopes of making it big on Tyneside.

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Even if their quest fails, the prospect of flipping youngsters for a profit would help Newcastle combat FFP/PSR measures. This is a tactic that clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea have adopted in recent years.

Now the Magpies are linked with raiding Leeds for another up-and-coming talent. Pickles has impressed for the Whites’ under-18 outfit this season, who sit one place above Newcastle in the table.

A combative, holding midfielder, the 17-year-old has been labelled the “next Kalvin Phillips”, a player who also broke through the ranks at Elland Road. Leeds have a stellar reputation for nurturing youth players, with Archie Gray earning a breakout campaign in 2023-24.

Finley Gorman - a 15-year-old - was also recently signed by Manchester City. Pickles’ calmness in possession has also gained Newcastle’s attention, with talkSPORT claiming scouts are keeping tabs on the youngster.

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However, the outlet claims Spurs are rivalling Newcastle for his signature as Ange Postecoglou aims to bolster his academy ranks. The 58-year-old outlined last month that Tottenham “have a lot of work to do” at youth level to catch up to Europe’s elite.

Pickles, who has helped Leeds reach the FA Youth Cup semi-final, is regarded as the next player to be fast-tracked to the first team. Whether he leaves could hinge on whether the Whites are playing Premier League football next season.

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