Barnsley closing in on Leeds United’s Alex Mowatt

HEADING OUT: Alex Mowatt is set to join Barnsley.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
HEADING OUT: Alex Mowatt is set to join Barnsley. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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Barnsley are closing in on a deal for Leeds United midfielder Alex Mowatt after productive talks between the clubs.

The Oakwell side will look to finalise a fee with Leeds in the next 24 hours, a move which would end Mowatt’s long association with United.

The 21-year-old, who is the leading appearance maker in Garry Monk’s current squad, joined Leeds’ academy at the age of nine and captained their Under-18s before breaking into the first team in August 2013.

He has played over 100 times for Leeds, scoring 13 goals and winning the club’s player of the year award in 2015, but Mowatt has been a bit-part player under Monk and Leeds are ready to sell him with his contract due to expire in the summer.

The club held talks with his representatives about an extension earlier in the season but United are understood to be reluctant to match the contract handed to him by former owner Gulf Finance House in 2013.

Under English league rules, Leeds would only be entitled to compensation for Mowatt at the end of his deal if they offer a new contract equal to the value of his current salary.

Though Mowatt has played 15 times in the Championship this term, only four of those outings have been starts, his most recent away at Derby County in October.

The prospect of his departure comes with Leeds working to bring a new striker and winger into Elland Road.

United have a long-standing interest in West Ham United’s Ashley Fletcher and Norwich City winger Sergi Canos. Fletcher, however, will not be allowed to leave West Ham unless the Premier League side land another forward and Norwich’s insistence on a permanent deal for Canos has threatened Leeds’ attempt to sign him.

United want to take the 19-year-old Spaniard on loan to the end of the season with an option to buy.