Leeds United, Norwich and Leicester City all wanted former Oxford United star Nico Jones but the highly rated defender is set to join Premier League newcomers Brentford instead, as reported by TEAMtalk.
This isn’t the first time Leeds have lost out to Brentford this summer either.
The Yorkshire giants made an £11 million bid for Sweden international midfielder Jens Cajuste earlier in the transfer window.
But, with Brentford owner Matthew Benham also a majority shareholder at Danish side FC Midtjylland, the Bees have taken full advantage of their enviable contacts book as Cajuste packs his bags and prepares to swap Jutland for west London.
And it seems Cajuste will be sharing a dressing room with 19-year-old Jones next season.
Nico Jones opts for Brentford rather than Leeds
The highly rated central defender may have seen his development stall at third-tier Oxford United – in the words of U’s boss Karl Robinson, he “stood still for a while” – but that hasn’t stopped a number of Premier League clubs from expressing an interest in the one-time Fulham prospect.
TEAMtalk claims Jones, who was released by Oxford earlier this summer after his contract ran out, held talks with a host of clubs in the top division, including Leeds, Leicester and Norwich.
And, in Marcelo Bielsa, Brendan Rodgers and Daniel Farke, all three clubs have a manager who can boast a superb track record when it comes to youth development.
Kalvin Phillips, Emi Buendia and Youri Tielemans would certainly attest to that.
But the same can be said of Thomas Frank.
Ollie Watkins blossomed from a talented winger into a lethal number nine under Frank at Brentford before joining Aston Villa in a £28 million deal. Meanwhile, David Raya, Bryan Mbeumo and the elegant Josh DaSilva played a major role in last season’s play-off success.
TEAMtalk reports Jones will start next season in Brentford’s B Team but, given Frank has handed out first-team debuts like Tic Tacs during the past few years, don’t be surprised if the youngest captain in Oxford United’s history is playing Premier League football before long.