Brighton have joined the race for Leeds United target Lewis Pirie with the Seagulls set to “up their interest” in the youngster, according to the Daily Record.
The Whites are after the 16-year-old having already sent scouts to watch him star for Scotland’s under-16s side against Denmark earlier this month.
Other sides were also in attendance at the time, with Fulham already competing for the Aberdeen teenager, and now the Seagulls have jumped into the fray after receiving their own “glowing scouting report”.
With English clubs turning their attentions to within Britain for young prospects due to the increased difficulty with bringing in academy talent from abroad due to Brexit, the likes of Pirie are receiving even greater attention than they would in previous years.
The Dons are keen to get him to sign professional forms at Pittodrie next year but the chase is hotting up to snatch him away before then.
Brighton are reportedly now set to “monitor him closely over the coming weeks”, so the stakes have increased for representatives from Thorp Arch looking to add to a flourishing group of youngsters.
United have gained a reputation in the recent past for being a fruitful destination for youngsters looking to make the grade and be afforded an opportunity to play top level football.
The emergence over the past couple of years of a whole crop of under-21 players in the first team, some injury enforced, has included current Jesse Marsch squad members like Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood, Crysencio Summerville and Cody Drameh.
The likes of Charlie Cresswell, Jamie Shackleton, Lewis Bate, are currently on loan after featuring for the senior side and are now looking to gain regular experience in order to make the step up permanent.
And highly rated youngsters were brought in during the transfer window, including Darko Gyabi, Willy Gnonto and goal-machine Sonny Perkins, all of whom are unlikely to be far off the first team for long.
The current airing of the Amazon Documentary “Leeds United – Academy Dreams” will likely only increase the profile of the Whites in the minds of up and coming players around the country.
But Brighton also have a decent reputation of late in terms of signing and utilising youngsters, although how much the departure of Graham Potter and his staff to Chelsea will affect that is unclear.
What is clear is that it is hardly going to be straight forward for United to get hold of Pirie, but should Perkins break through and follow Gelhardt soon it would certainly demonstrate a strong path to the first team for attacking players that is sure to be attractive.
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