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Liverpool and Arsenal could battle for $51m transfer as wonderkid might need to be sold

Archie Gray warms up before a play-off game against Norwich City.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


Liverpool could face a challenge from Arsenal to sign a Leeds midfielder who may be sold due to the club's failure to win promotion to the Premier League. Archie Gray, son of former Leeds player Andy, has impressed for the Yorkshire side this season in the Championship.

Leeds United was in the automatic promotion spots in the division for most of 2023/24, but fell away at the final hurdle and ultimately finished third, which pushed them into going through the play-offs. Leeds battered Norwich 4-0 at Elland Road before facing Southampton in the final at Wembley.

In the end, Leeds lost a cagey affair 1-0 and despite finishing the season on 90 points, it wasn't enough. And that failure to win promotion could cost the club this summer.

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With broadcasting money from the Championship nowhere near the levels of the Premier League, and with Leeds' parachute payments set to be reduced by as much as 10 per cent due to it being the club's second season back in the second tier, players may need to be sold to balance the books.

The England U21 international was nearly an ever-present in Leeds' promotion challenge, playing in 44 of the 46 games of the regular season. According to Give Me Sport, Liverpool and Arsenal could both be looking to sign Gray this summer and take advantage of Leeds' financial situation.

Gray is a versatile player, capable of playing as a defensive midfielder but also as a right-back on occasion. There is no mention of a reported transfer fee, but according to the website Transfermarkt, Gray's valuation currently stands at around $19m (£15m/€18m).

However, it's unlikely that Leeds would sell the player for so little, despite the club's mounting debt. The Daily Mail has previously suggested a price tag of as much as $51m (£40m/€47m). Moreover, Gray's contract at Elland Road doesn't expire until the summer of 2028, giving Leeds leverage in any potential negotiations.

Liverpool.com says: While Gray is a very good young talent, he might be better off going elsewhere this summer. At both Liverpool and Arsenal, it would be hard to see where he could get a look-in in terms of regular first-team football. At Leeds, he will play every week and his development will be better for it. Elsewhere, that is far from a guarantee.