Aston Villa have agreed a deal for Dundee United’s defensive starlet Kerr Smith, 90min understands.
The 17-year-old is regarded as one of the best players his age in the UK and he has been playing first-team football since turning 16.
Defender Smith, who can play full-back or centrally, was already being looked at by Premier League clubs before he turned 16 and had trials at Manchester United and ironically Aston Villa – who two years later have pushed through a deal.
We understand that Everton, Liverpool, Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Leeds were among more than half a dozen clubs from south of the border that were keen on landing Smith.
Now Steven Gerrard is returning to the Scottish top-flight to capture one of its finest talents and Smith is due for a medical which, should all go well, should lead to him finalising his switch to Villa Park before the weekend.
It is expected that the Scottish youth international will initially be moved into the club’s under-23 setup before pushing on for a first-team place.
Dundee United boss Thomas Courts has played a major role in Smith’s development and he has few doubts about his quality.
“Kerr is a really level-headed guy. He doesn’t get put up or down by much and that’s a great temperament to have,” Courts said of Smith in recent months.
“It’s a good problem to have, seeing him linked with big clubs.
“We want to keep him as long as possible but we also know he’s a talented player and naturally there will be interest.”