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Steve Evans is confident that Jack Tucker will still be a Gillingham player next season despite interest from the likes of Leeds United, Celtic and Rangers, speaking to Kent Live.

Talk about a sliding doors moment.

This time last year, one of the most promising young defenders in England was set to join non-league Hastings on a free transfer.

The appointment of Evans in June 2019 soon changed that, however, with Tucker immediately handed a fresh start which he has seized with both hands.

Your BEST Former Player Who Wouldn’t Start For Your Current XI

Your BEST Former Player Who Wouldn’t Start For Your Current XI

12 months on, some of Britain’s biggest clubs are apparently planning a summer raid of Priestfield.

The Mail reported in April that Leeds, Celtic, Rangers, Southampton and Norwich City are all interested in a man valued at £1.5 million.

But while Evans is confident that Tucker would have no problems making the step up to a higher level, he is expecting to work with the 20-year-old for another year.

“Am I expecting (Tucker) to be wearing a Gills shirt in 20/21? Yes I am,” Evans, a former Leeds manager, says.

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“We turned down good money for Jack Tucker back in January. Different clubs have been asking about different players, they have asked me about values.”

Even if Tucker does commit his future to Priestfield for another 12 months, Leeds will certainly be in the market for reinforcements this summer.

Ben White is set to return to parent club Brighton and Hove Albion after a sublime loan spell in West Yorkshire.

Whether director of football Victor Orta succeeds in adequately replacing arguably the finest centre-back in the Championship remains to be seen.

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