Manchester United are set to lose yet another academy prospect after Ashley Fletcher rejected the Old Trafford club's offer to extend his current deal that expires on 30 June. Leeds United are set to be leading the race to land the young striker, who spent the second-half of last season on loan with Barnsley.
The 20-year-old forward, who came through the youth ranks at United, impressed during his loan stint with the League One club. Fletcher made 26 appearances following his move in January, scoring nine goals and providing four assists. He also scored in the playoff semi-finals and final to help the club achieve promotion to the Championship.
Barnsley chairman Maurice Watkins has already made it clear that the Championship club would like to sign Fletcher for another season, but is yet to hold talks with the Red Devils. The striker had indicated earlier in the year that he was keen to return to United to follow in the footsteps of Marcus Rashford and break into the first-team under Jose Mourinho.
The club, however, are unwilling to meet his demands and thus could lose him this summer, but they will be entitled to a compensation fee even if he leaves following the expiry of his contract.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds are leading the race to sign the striker with the club's owner Massimo Cellino having watched him during Barnsley's playoff final win over Milwall. However, despite the Elland Road outfit willing to match his wage demands, they are set to face competition from a number of Championship clubs including the Tykes, who have entered the fray to take him on a permanent deal.
The Red Devils are expected to return with a better offer in order to stop another of their youth prospects from leaving the club, but according to the Yorkshire publication the striker is aware of interest from Elland Road and could choose to move to United's once bitter rivals, where he is likely to have a better chance of playing regular first-team football.