Leeds United made early move for Wigan Athletic starlet

Leeds United made their first move for Joe Gelhardt six months BEFORE Wigan Athletic were placed into administration, a new TV programme has revealed.

Latics were forced to sell the jewel of their Academy set-up for just £1million in the summer of 2020 after their former owners washed their hands of the club.

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However, rather than Leeds stumbling on the bargain of the century, it transpires they had made their first inquiry at the turn of the year.

Joe Gelhardt in action for Latics

Being interviewed on 'Academy Dreams' - Amazon Prime's new behind the scenes look at the Leeds junior system - Gelhardt says he was aware of the interest for months.

“I was playing at Wigan in the first-team and obviously everything happened with administration and we ended up being relegated,” said the England junior star.

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“In January my agent texted me and he said Leeds are interested for the summer.

Gelhardt also says he had no reservations about making the step up into the Premier League at the age of only 18.

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“I’ve always believed in myself," he said. "And I tell myself this all the time, you’ve got to believe in yourself because you’re the one doing it and you know what you’re capable of.”

Leeds director of football Victor Orta is also interviewed in episode one, talking about the former England Under-18 skipper.

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“His intensity, his winning mentality, his range,” Orta said. “He has the ice with fire.”

All six episodes of 'Academy Dreams' were released on Amazon Prime last week.