According to a report from The Sun on Sunday (20/10; page 65), Everton and Middlesbrough are battling it out for Grimsby Town prospect Joe Hope.
The 17-year-old is still awaiting the chance to make his senior debut for the League Two side. He has however, been on the bench in the League Cup and the Leasing.com Trophy this term.
Nevertheless, he is attracting attention from the other end of the football pyramid. The Sun on Sunday (20/10; page 65) reports that the Toffees are keen on bringing the teenager to Goodison Park.
The report notes that Boro are also interested in signing Hope. Jonathan Woodgate has a number of young players in his squad at the Riverside Stadium.
It will be interesting to see whether that tempts Hope to snub the reported Premier League interest. While Woodgate remains in charge, the pathway to the first-team is definitely there at Middlesbrough.
But Everton have their own impressive record for developing young players. Even if he does not manage to make the grade with Marco Silva’s men, he will be in a good position to seal an excellent move elsewhere.
It would be no surprise however, if those around Hope – who was born three months after David Moyes became manager at Goodison Park – were suggesting that he seriously consider staying put.
But with Everton and Middlesbrough reportedly interested, Hope may well find himself with a difficult decision to make in the near future.