Jack Harrison, Leicester’s doctor and the night Leeds pulled the plug

Jack Harrisonappearance at Accrington Stanley on Saturday He let everyone watch him as he read between the lines.

There was no celebration when the first goal was buried Leeds United3-0 FA cup Winning is just a rigid reaction to an elite hit. There was a smile, a chat, and a hug with Jesse Marsh when he was substituted in the second half, which was way more affectionate than what a head coach usually shows in the heat of battle. Was Harrison staying or was he going? Does any of this mean anything?

After a full-time job, Harrison walked out of the tunnel to be interviewed by LUTV, Leeds’ indoor television station. He seemed content and relieved as he completed the kind of media duties players prefer to dodge when their future is in doubt. But even when he finished the conversation and got on the team bus, all bets were off. Leeds may keep him. Leicester City might sign it. No one in the game was willing to predict how the January window would turn out for him.

And closed on Tuesday with Leeds player Harrison, retaining him a week later came close to achieving a different result. Much of the saga was played out privately around him, never providing an accurate picture of what the various people involved wanted, but until the last hour before the deadline a deal with Leicester was still being discussed.

On Tuesday evening, Harrison did indeed make the trip to Leicester’s training ground, pre-empting the possibility of being sold at the last minute. The city got medical advances. Then, as the clock began to count down, Leeds came to the decision to keep him and the prospect of him eventually leaving died dead.

Leicester had shone to Harrison in previous windows but as January wore on they felt catching him was more achievable than in the past. They wanted wingers, among their targets was the Brazilian Tete who joined them from Lyon on Sunday, and are set for Harrison if Leeds are willing to accept a fee of £20m or thereabouts. A club-to-club approach was taken late last week, in the build-up to Leeds’ FA Cup clash with Accrington, but Harrison started that game regardless. His appearance was symptomatic of the fact that Leeds were hesitant about their next move.

Harrison is a fixture at Elland Road, and has been an established face ever since Leeds first signed him on loan from Manchester City in 2018. He has made nearly 200 league appearances for the club and has built a solid reputation to be relied upon Premier League The Footballer: Committed, rarely injured, and with all his form can swing, he is a source of goals and assists.

Despite this, his contract expires in 18 months and by the end of last week, when Leeds finalized the loan signing of Weston McKinney from JuventusHowever, the club actually committed £70m in first-team players in January. Although McKennie’s deal is temporary at firstAn option worth £30m is due to be activated at the end of the season, provided Leeds are not relegated from the First Division.

Selling Harrison, then, was a way of balancing the books and offsetting some of the expenses on incoming transfers at Elland Road. At £20m, Leeds would have made a profit from the £11m paid to buy him from City in 2021. These discussions have been going on for days at boardroom level, with much now attached to him. The planned sale of the club by Chairman Andrea Radrizzani to 49ers Enterprises minority shareholders.

Although Leeds did not jump on Leicester’s approach, and although Marsh said twice last week that he wanted Harrison to say, they did not jump on him in any hurry. Only as the window was drawing to a close did the club indicate emphatically that he would not be sold. Harrison had traveled south by then, in the event of a deal upon death.

Harrison, for his part, was not agitating for a transfer or actively announcing his desire to leave. By Tuesday, he was simply philosophical in realizing that if Leeds wanted to capitalize on him, it made sense to accept an offer elsewhere.

Harrison was not pushing for a move from Leeds (Picture: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Joining Leicester would have meant a pay rise with a big contract, potentially up to five-and-a-half years. Their wage structure is higher than that of Elland Road. But like Leeds, they are having a tough season in the Premier League. Brenden Rodgers recently spoke about his team’s relegation struggle. This fact also affected United – the question of whether it would be wise to sell to a club so close to them in the table.

When asked about Harrison after Leeds’ victory at Accrington, Marsh said his perception of the winger was that he was not “eager to leave”. Director of Football Victor Orta primarily recruited Harrison from City and advised the club to retain him. Harrison has been influential for some time and was still relatively young at 26. He made Gareth Southgate a caretaker England squad l world Cupwithout actually making it to the finals. He had started all but four of Leeds’ Premier League games this season, despite the wide range of attacking talent on offer to Marsh.

last summer, when Newcastle United He made moves to sign Harrison, and Leeds fended them off by putting a £40m price tag on him. Radrizani said the athlete Before the window closed, Harrison was basically out of bounds, and it’s too good to lose. But six months have passed since then and Harrison’s diminishing contract has inevitably reduced his value.

Leeds plan to hold talks about a new deal with him in the coming weeks, and hope Harrison will be open to accepting improved terms and staying beyond his current contract. The reality of football finance is that if an extension can’t be reached, more attention will have to be paid to selling him when this season expires, at which point his deal will be a year after expiration. It has developed too well for Leeds to allow for a scenario in which Harrison goes out on a free transfer.

Leicester were aiming to play two wingers before the January deadline. Rodgers, their manager, likes to say that competing in a team is the greatest coach in the game, and in both Tite and Harrison he was targeting left footers who could play wide on the right and cut that wing. Tite’s transfer from Lyon went off without a hitch but when crisis came on Tuesday night, Leeds thought twice and resisted Leicester’s offer for Harrison.

City felt from Tuesday morning onwards that the deadline was likely to pass with Harrison still on the books at Elland Road; That the process has become too complex to be detected in time. With Tate on board, all that remains for them is to loan Marc Albrighton to West Bromwich Albion And Izy Perez to Real Betis. Albrighton had not played frequently under Rodgers this season and wanted more game time, the move, however, reduced bodies in an area Rodgers was hoping to cement further. Another boost was not forthcoming And ideally, they would have kept Albrighton

Harrison has been training as usual with Leeds this week and will be in contention for Sunday’s league game at Nottingham Forest. Marsh was as clear as he could be about his desire to keep the winger, about his importance in the dressing room, and it was not the intention of the Americans that the hug between them on the touchline at Accrington should be equivalent to a farewell. When it came time to put up or shut up, Leeds felt the same, and were determined to reject Leicester’s approach and focus on contract extensions instead. For Harrison, it was that typical deadline day experience — a late scramble and transfer that never was.

(Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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