Report: Newcastle to rival Aston Villa for Leeds teenager Lewis Cook

The England Under-19 midfielder has established himself as one of the most promising talents outside the Premier League this season.

Newcastle United will rival Aston Villa for the signature of Leeds United midfielder Lewis Cook this summer, according to the Telegraph.

Cook, 18, has emerged as one of the Championship’s hottest prospects this season, making 38 total appearances since being handed his first-team debut in August.

His accomplished performances at such a tender age have not gone unnoticed a level above and now Leeds are bracing themselves for Premier League offers come the end of the campaign.

The England Under-19 international, whose contract expires in 2016, was also linked with a move to Villa last month, per The Sun, with Tim Sherwood said to have identified both him and Sam Byram as potential summer targets.

The club had been scouting the pair even before the former Tottenham Hotspur manager’s appointment and, with Fabian Delph on their books, have the track record of developing Elland Road prospects into top-flight standouts.

However, with Sherwood expressing his desire to sign Manchester United-owned Tom Cleverley to a permanent deal in recent weeks, and Carlos Sanchez, Ashley Westwood and promising loanee Gary Gardner also at his disposal, their midfield already looks well-covered for the long-term.

Instead, a move for Cook would seem to make more sense for Newcastle, whose reported summer rebuild could see Cheick Tiote and Moussa Sissoko shipped out, leaving them with just Vurnon Anita, Jack Colback and Mehdi Abeid as options in the centre of the park.

The Magpies’ focus this summer is said to be on recruiting bright English talent and, while Cook might need some time before he is prepared to fill a starting role at St James’ Park, there should be little doubt after what he’s shown this term that he can develop into a big-name star in time.

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