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Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Barcelona and others want 'top' 19-year-old - report

Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona are just some of the clubs reportedly eyeing England Under-21 defender James Hill.

The Reds, the Blues, Spurs and Barca are far from the only ones apparently interested in the Fleetwood defender, however.

According to TEAMtalk, Southampton are “ready to make the first move” for Hill, whose contract expires in the summer.

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In addition, the likes of Burnley, Norwich, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield United, Birmingham and Stoke have reportedly monitored the 19-year-old recently.

The likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Barca are likely to appeal as they’re clubs competing for titles and European places.

However, Hill could potentially get a better – and earlier – chance of first-team football elsewhere.

One thing’s for sure though – the youngster is definitely ready for a step up from his current club.

Hill is widely regarded as one of the stand-out young players playing outside the Premier League.

He has made over 50 appearances since breaking into the Fleetwood team as a 16-year-old in 2018.

“We’ve virtually got the entire Premier League coming along to watch him”

In October, club owner Andy Pilley said Hill is “destined for the very top”.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror (10 October, p. 64), he said most Premier League clubs are scouting the teenager.

Pilley also said Hill would ultimately leave in 2022 – either in January or at the end of the season.

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“We know he’s destined for the very top,” said Pilley.

“He’s playing regularly in the first team and we believe this helps to get his dream move.

“We’re at a stage now where we’re literally having to decline scouting requests because we’ve virtually got the entire Premier League coming along to watch him.

“There were two Premier League clubs who made bids for James and there was also a bid from the Scottish Premier League.

“I wouldn’t like to say who the club were, but unfortunately the bids weren’t of sufficient numbers.

“It might be that he goes in January, but he’s going to go at the end of the season unless he signs a new contract.”

“It was only just 12 months ago there was talk of him going on loan to the non-league.

“But he’s made enormous progress and it’s clear that he has become an automatic choice in the starting XI.

“What represents success for Town is to wish our players well and to watch them on Match of the Day in the Premier League.”

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