Dundee United are set to defy competition from a raft of English Premier League sides to sign highly-rated youngster Kerr Smith.
And it is believed the teenage star will go straight into manager Micky Mellon’s squad for Sunday’s clash with Rangers.
Smith, a Tannadice youth prospect who appeared for Mellon’s team against Sheffield United in pre-season aged just 15, has been courted by Manchester United, Everton and Aston Villa.
However, just days after his 16th birthday, it is understood the Tangerines have tied Smith to his first professional contract.
The centre-back has enjoyed training stints with Villa and Man United, however, the prospect of first team football at Tannadice, where fellow local defender Lewis Neilson has emerged this season, has proved too tempting.
‘Giving young players a chance’
Speaking in October, after Smith returned from Manchester, Tangerines sporting director Tony Asghar told Courier Sport: “We want the best players at our football club and Kerr has the potential to be one of them.
“He’s already shown that against Sheffield United. He’s got a great attitude.”
“Micky Mellon will look at who has the ability and who is on form when he’s picking his teams. He certainly isn’t afraid to throw young players into big games. He’s shown that already.
“It’s part of the reason he came here – giving young players a chance.
“A lot of young players have committed to Dundee United.”