Bundesliga giants Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt have reportedly joined Newcastle and Manchester United in the race to sign Leon King.
Newcastle United and Manchester United will face stiff competition from across the continent for Scottish wonderkid Leon King in the upcoming January transfer window. That is according to Football Insider, which claims Bundesliga duo Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt have entered the chase to sign the 18-year-old Rangers defender.
The teenage sensation was thrown into the deep end when Rangers travelled to Anfield to take on Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League as his side were beaten 2-0 by Jurgen Klopp’s outfit. And his solid display has seen him linked with moves to Manchester United, Newcastle United, and Leeds. But he had a night to forget in the reverse fixture as the Reds put Rangers to the sword in a 7-1 thumping.
The 18-year-old is primarily a central defender who can also play as a right-back or as a holding midfielder and is currently enjoying a decent run in the first team due to an injury crisis in the defensive department. King has made twelve appearances in all competitions for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side this season, including all of Rangers’ Champions League group stage games to date.
King is very highly rated at Rangers and already has major European clubs circling around him. His contract at Ibrox expires in the summer of 2024, meaning he could possibly leave for a bargain fee if he does not pen fresh terms with the Scottish giants.
A move south of the border in 2023 could potentially be on the cards for King, with Manchester United, and Newcastle United among those reported to have sent scouts to monitor the young Rangers centre-back recently.
While Manchester United have a plethora of experienced centre-back options, the Red Devils’ interest in King suggests Erik Ten Hag is already making plans for the future. With Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof both not favoured and both in their late twenties, ten Hag may feel that King has the required skillset to partner the 24-year-old Lisandro Martinez in the long run.
The same goes for Newcastle United, who have already locked up the left side of their defence with the acquisition of Sven Botman last summer. Fabian Schar is currently holding down the right centre-back slot, with Jamaal Lascelles acting as the backup, but neither are long-term fixes. Thus, King could be regarded as one for the future by Eddie Howe.
Manchester United and Newcastle, though, are set to have new competition from Germany. Bundesliga pair Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt have joined the bandwagon of suitors. Furthermore, they could try to lure King to move to the Bundesliga by promising the Scotland Under-21 international consistent playing time.
This would be in line with the current trend of emerging British stars heading to Germany to fast-track their development and careers with regular game time. Jadon Sancho, Demarai Gray, and Jude Bellingham are a few notable examples of this growing trend.