Arsenal and Manchester United are ready to make a move for highly-rated Everton teenager Thierry Small, who could be tempted to reject a first professional contract with the Toffees to move elsewhere.
The 16-year-old from Solihull became Everton’s youngest ever player when he came off the bench in the 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup in January and his potential has caught the eye of a number of clubs.
The Gunners and the Red Devils are the biggest options reportedly available to Small, but the Express states that the likes of Leeds United, Brighton and Brentford are also interested in the young left-back.
Small is reportedly frustrataed about the lack of first team opportunities available to him at Everton as he has not been included in a match-day squad since that FA Cup appearance.
This could give the likes of Leeds, Brighton and Brentford an edge in the race for his signature as Man Utd and Arsenal will not be guaranteeing him first team chances in the near future.
Next season will be Small’s final year of his scholarship at Everton and if another club were to snap him up this summer they would need to pay in the region of £1m for his services.
Everton will be hoping to convince him that he does have a future at the club and persuade him to sign professional terms when he turns 17 in August.
Lucas Digne is a key player for the Toffees and is not going to be removed as first choice left-back any time soon, so Small will need recurrences that there is a pathway for him into the first team.
Toffees Under-23 manager David Unsworth has insisted that is exactly what Small has in front of him at Everton.
Speaking earlier this season Unsowrth said: ‘The one thing that we can give Thierry is a clear pathway.
‘There’s always a clear pathway at Everton for all the youngsters so he’s in no better place to have a career as a Premier League footballer.’