Four-goal Leeds United striker close to joining up with former coach in January transfer window

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Teenage Leeds United forward Max Dean is understood to be nearing a loan move to League One outfit MK Dons until the end of the season

Dean was unavailable for selection as Leeds’ Under-21s lost out to West Bromwich Albion’s youngsters in Premier League 2 Division 2 on Monday night, amid links with a move to stadium:mk. The 18-year-old has six months remaining on his Elland Road deal and has spent much of this season as understudy to 12-goal attacker Mateo Joseph.

Former Under-21s head coach and first-team backroom staff member Mark Jackson left Leeds in December, ending his long, professional association with the club to join MK Dons’ as the League One strugglers’ new manager. Dean could now be set to reunite with Jackson in his bid to play regular football.

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The Buckinghamshire club are 22nd in England’s third tier having scored 23 times in 25 League One matches this season, averaging less than a goal per game. Dean, on the other hand, has scored four goals in five PL2 appearances this season, including a hat-trick in his only start of the campaign.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Max Dean of Leeds United is challenged by Chris Merrie of Tranmere Rovers during the Papa John's Trophy match between Tranmere Rovers and Leeds United U21 at Prenton Park on September 14, 2021 in Birkenhead, England. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Max Dean of Leeds United is challenged by Chris Merrie of Tranmere Rovers during the Papa John's Trophy match between Tranmere Rovers and Leeds United U21 at Prenton Park on September 14, 2021 in Birkenhead, England. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)
BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Max Dean of Leeds United is challenged by Chris Merrie of Tranmere Rovers during the Papa John's Trophy match between Tranmere Rovers and Leeds United U21 at Prenton Park on September 14, 2021 in Birkenhead, England. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Speaking after his side’s defeat to the Baggies, head coach Michael Skubala said Dean was ‘unavailable’ for this evening’s fixture: “There’s nothing I know about it at the minute but we need to protect him and look after him and whatever decisions go with the club.”

Skubala has already seen defender Leo Hjelde and midfielder Alfie McCalmont join Rotherham United and Carlisle United on loan this month. Asked whether there would be further loan exits before the window closes in two weeks, the 21s’ head coach stated those decisions would be made by senior figures at the club, reluctant to discuss transfer specifics, echoing Marsch’s stance in press conferences.

"I think with all these players, it’s making sure they have the right journey, and I think our decision as a club: Victor [Orta], Adam [Underwood], Jesse [Marsch] – whatever we think is right for the players in their journeys.

"At the minute, the window is open as everybody knows, and things can happen last minute and things can happen in a day. There’s nothing planned, but you never know,” Skubala added.

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