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Manager hopes Harry Lee will sign new contract despite joining Everton on trial after Chelsea spell

According to Devon Live, Everton hosted Exeter City goalkeeper Harry Lee for a trial spell at Finch Farm last week as they ran the rule over a potential summer transfer.

The highly-rated 15-year-old was given the chance to impress the Toffees’ recruitment team first hand amid doubt in the shot-stopper’s future at St. James’ Park, with a host of Premier League sides taking note of his situation.

Lee is still on a scholarship deal with his League Two side but has been offered professional terms, which Grecians boss Matt Taylor hopes he accepts as the youngster will be afforded opportunities to establish himself as the number one next season.

(Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Taylor is holding out on targeting new goalkeepers in the summer transfer window until a decision is made on Lee’s future, but expects the situation will not be resolved until the end of June.

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“Harry Lee is a fantastic prospect, but he is not quite ready for what we need just yet. He will be in and around the first-team,” Taylor said.

“I am still looking to recruit one, possibly two, depending on how the structure works and depending on what Harry Lee does. I would love to have those answers right now, but that will run all the way until the end of June.”

Everton are not alone in monitoring Lee’s situation with Chelsea previously hosting the teenager at their facilities for a trial spell in April, but are yet to move on their interest with a formal offer.

Exeter expect to face a battle to retain Lee at the end of the season, after he served much of the campaign as the number two following injuries to Lewis Ward and Jonny Maxted, with 29 appearances on the bench but is yet to make his senior debut.

TBR’s view:

Lee will have gained an excellent experience of training at two top clubs following trial spells at Chelsea and Everton in recent weeks, while both sides would have gained solid first-hand knowledge of where he is at in his development.

It remains to be seen if either side saw enough to test Exeter’s resolve and try to prise Lee out of his scholarship contract with the League Two club, or if he feels more comfortable staying at St. James’ Park and penning a professional deal with Taylor’s side.

Lee clearly has some potential having been named so often on the first-team bench this season, even if his chance arose due to injuries for others, and at 15, still has plenty of years ahead of him to grow into a potential number one at a Premier League outfit.

He could see that as a reason to stay at Exeter with Taylor already giving his backing, in what would be a blow for Everton and Chelsea after each side carried out their assessments.

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