Forest Green Rovers academy manager Scott Bartlett has told the club's official website that the League Two outfit picked Leeds as the best option for youngster Jordan Stevens.
Stevens, 17, completed a deadline-day move to Elland Road in the final hours of the January transfer window, after the Daily Mirror reported Leeds were first interested in the youngster midway through the month.
The young midfielder burst onto the scene at the New Lawn this season and made 15 appearances for Mark Cooper's side, attracting interest from Premier League sides but Forest Green chose Leeds.
Bartlett believes Stevens is more than capable of achieving a place in Leeds' first team in years to come, and analysed the Yorkshire giants as the best club to continue his development.
“There’s been a lot of interest in Jordan since he broke into the first team and even beyond that from pre-season,” Bartlett said. "From our point of view, we don’t want to lose him but at the same time, it’s an incredible deal for us and Jordan.
“We spent a lot of time analysing the different clubs and thought Leeds United was the right one with a clear pathway for him and a development plan that will hopefully see him move forward as we think he might into their first team.
“We wish him all the best for the future and of course we will keep tabs on him with our relationship with Leeds United now.”
Mark Cooper, manager of Forest Green Rovers.
Leeds have completed a number of young signings in January, bringing in the likes of Aapo Halme, Sam Dalby, Pascal Struijk and Adrian Balboa to boost Carlos Corberan's Under-23 side.
Stevens put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Yorkshire club, with the option of another year, and he could make his debut for the Under-23 side against Birmingham City on Friday at Thorp Arch.