Manchester City are set to beat Liverpool and Rangers to the signing of Kilmarnock whizz Liam Smith, according to the Scottish Sun.
The 17-year-old is a winger and the Scottish Premiership outfit had been hoping to tie him down to a new contract.
Interest from the Premier League giants and Rangers looks to have scuppered those plans, however, with City set to win the race.
Kilmarnock failing to tie Smith down to a new deal means that he will leave for less than £200,000 paid by City in the way of training compensation.
Smith has never played a senior game and will join up with the development squad at the Etihad.
The tricky winger caught the eye back in March when he netted the winner for Scotland’s under-16s against Malta.
City first held talks with Smith in August. They look to have beaten Liverpool to the post, with Rangers having held earlier interest in the player.
TBR Verdict – Smith could be one that got away for Liverpool and Rangers
When a wonderkid moves from one club to another there is always an element of intrigue.
Liverpool and Rangers will both be anxious to discover whether or not they will regret not pursuing Smith more aggressively in the coming years.
For Rangers, it is perhaps a bigger blow. The Light Blues pride themselves on having a stunning academy and they surely won’t be happy that a homegrown talent has joined an English club ahead of them.
The lure of joining the Premier League champions is high, however. Smith will go there hoping to quickly settle down and play regularly for the development team.
It will be interesting to see just how clear the pathway is at City. Pep Guardiola doesn’t have a bad record when it comes to trusting youth and that might have been a factor in Smith’s decision.