(Photo by Clive Howes – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Leeds United are favourites to sign Chelsea midfielder Lewis Bate.

The Daily Mail says the Yorkshire side are long-term admirers of Bate, were well-placed to sign him but also faced competition from Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton who had also spoken to Chelsea about a deal.

However, talks have progressed over the last 24 hours and there is now a cautious optimism that Elland Road will be the 18 year-old’s next destination.

Bate has one year left on his Chelsea deal and has opted against signing a new one due to concerns about his pathway to first-team football.

Leeds hope their ability to progress players through from their under-23s and into the first-team – seen through the likes of England star Kalvin Phillips, Illan Meslier and Pascal Struijk – will help them pip their rivals to Bate’s signature.

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