Leeds United: Alnwick out to impress Rosler during trial spell

Goalkeeper Jak Alnwick.
Goalkeeper Jak Alnwick.
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Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Jak Alnwick is vying for a move to Leeds United after joining the club on trial.

Alnwick, 22, was invited to train with Uwe Rosler’s first-team squad last week as Leeds widened their search for a second-choice goalkeeper.

United are looking to bring in cover for Marco Silvestri, despite signing young prospect Charlie Horton from Cardiff City last month.

Horton - a USA youth international - accepted a two-year contract at Elland Road but is expected to feature more heavily for United’s development squad next season folowing the recent departure of Alex Cairns.

Rosler intends to find an alternative player to deputise for Silvestri who started all but three of Leeds’ league fixtures last season.

Silvestri will begin the new Championship term as Rosler’s first choice but another goalkeeper is expected to join United before the campaign begins.

Leeds have shown an interest in Barnsley’s Ross Turnbull but are yet to make a formal approach to speak to him and Alnwick was given the chance to impress following United’s return to pre-season training at Thorp Arch.

The 22-year-old is a free agent after leaving Newcastle at the end of his contract last month.

Alnwick - originally a product of Sunderland’s academy - spent seven years at St James’ Park but failed to win a new deal at the end of the 2014-15 season.

That campaign saw him break into Newcastle’s line-up for the first time, an opportunity thrown to him amid an injury crisis among the club’s senior keepers. He played seven times for Newcastle before finishing the term on loan at Bradford City.

Alnwick is less experienced than the well-travelled Turnbull, another goalkeeper who United have been monitoring.

Turnbull has a year left on his contract at Oakwell but he is one of Barnsley’s higher earners and the club would be open to offers for him after relying on Adam Davies for large parts of last season.

Despite their interest, Leeds have not approached Barnsley for talks about Turnbull and are continuing to assess their options with the start of the new season a month away.

The club are continuing to prioritise a new left winger and a holding midfielder after making four additions to their senior squad.

Sheffield United winger Jamie Murphy is on the radar, potentially as part of a swap deal for striker Billy Sharp who Leeds are considering off-loading this summer.

Murphy, who started his career at Motherwell and has been capped by Scotland at Under-21 level, was heavily involved in Sheffield United’s League One promotion bid last season.

Leeds, however, are believed to be unwilling to meet the Blades’ current valuation of him.

Rosler hinted last week that he would be patient in recruiting further players after completing the signing of striker Chris Wood from Leicester City.

Wood’s arrival followed that of striker Lee Erwin from Motherwell, Horton from Cardiff and centre-back Sol Bamba from Palermo.

“First it was important to get that focal point and that physical striker that we were looking for,” Rosler said.

“And yes, there are certain areas in the team to which we’d like to add.

“We would like to add a little bit of pace to the team, but we are not stressing and we’ll see what is available on our budget.”