Leeds United have raided non-league York City for the signing of 16-year-old prospect Ryan Edmondson.
The teenage striker has signed a deal at Elland Road until 2020 in the first of a sequence of junior signings which Leeds intend to source from the UK and closer to home in Yorkshire.
United are targeting local academy recruits as part of their wider transfer strategy and the club have paid an undisclosed fee to bring Edmondson in from York.
City, who play in National League North after several years of decline, handed Edmondson his debut in a 2-1 win over Brackley Town last month but his talent was generating interest from the Championship and Leeds announced his arrival yesterday.
The Elland Road club have established an international scouting network since Andrea Radrizzani’s takeover in May but their attention on the domestic market is also increasing. Former Oxford United chief scout Craig Dean recently joined Leeds with responsibility for youth signings.
Managing director Angus Kinnear said: “We have a specific team looking at football in Yorkshire and this signing demonstrates that.”