According to the Bournemouth Echo, Everton are in pole position to sign Barnsley youngster Mason Holgate after lodging a £1million bid.
The 18-year-old has been linked with Aston Villa, Swansea and Bournemouth in recent times and even trained with Manchester United this summer. Meanwhile, the Chronicle has reported interest on behalf of Newcastle United.
The Echo suggests the Cherries have also had an offer accepted but the player, who was left out of the Barnsely squad for yesterday evening's League Cup clash with Scunthorpe, is said to prefer a switch to Goodison Park with talks now set to begin.
But who is the teenager attracting such intense attention from the Premier League?
- Having made 22 appearances during his breakthrough campaign last season, Doncaster-born Holgate emerged on the radar of several Premier League clubs, including Manchester United, who he trained with during pre-season.
- Predominately a right-back, Holgate can also play in the centre of defence - he has been compared to former Barnsley graduate John Stones, now of Everton.
- Having joined Barnsley at the age of just nine, Holgate went on to make his first-team debut nine years later, in a 1–1 League One draw against Doncaster Rovers last December.
- He actually got sent of on his debut versus the Rovers.
- Barnsley pride themselves on their academy and they like to play a passing game, even at youth level - this has ensure Holgate is comfortable on the ball and able to play with both feet, despite being naturally right-footed naturally right-footed.
- Holgate scored in a pre-season friendly against Huddersfield this summer, playing as a right wing-back.