Sunderland are weighing up a move for Crewe Alexandra striker Max Clayton, but could be required to pay a reported £1 million plus add-ons for the out-of-contract youngster.
The Daily Mail reports how Clayton, who progressed through Crewe’s famed academy and has played there throughout his career, turned down the offer of a new deal at the end of last season, and is said to have attracted interest from a host of clubs.
The 19-year-old has been training with Sunderland as part of their pre-season preparations and is due to continue doing so, but with him being under the age of 24, Crewe will be entitled to a compensation fee for Clayton.
Crewe boss Steve Davis said: "They [ Sunderland ] have spoken to us and as he is out of contract, he can go where he likes. He is within his rights to do that."
At an early age, Max Clayton was dubbed to become as good as England and Liverpool legend, Michael Owen. In 2011 a host of top clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal all sent scouts to watch the youngster play for Crewe but none seemed interested in the striker.
Will he live up to the hype?
Nobody is really sure why his progression hasn't happened in the manner everybody though it would, however, a change of scenery and a new challenge may be exactly what he needs.
The former England Under-19s star netted 16 goals in 92 appearances for the club since making his debut in 2011.
By 19 years of age, Michael Owen had already set the world stage alight by scoring a total of 47 goals in 86 games for Liverpool in all competitions. Not to mention he had been selected for the 1998 World Cup where Michael scored one of the greatest ever World Cup goals.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU