Everton win the race for highly-rated Bury defender Matthew Foulds

HITC Sport understands that the Toffees have fended off interest from Premier League rivals to land the teenage centre-half.

Everton have won the race to sign Bury starlet Matthew Foulds, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the proposed deal.

The 17-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best young defenders outside the Premier League, and a host of clubs have been in contact with the League One side.

HITC Sport understands up to half-a-dozen offers have been put to Bury, who have been considering their options, along with Foulds - who has already made his first-team debut for the Shakers.

Now HITC Sport can reveal that it is Everton who have beaten their rivals, including Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur, to land Foulds - who is now set to finalise a move to Goodison Park.

The deal is now agreed, but it needs to be ratified by the Premier League and Football League, and he could even be allowed to move before January.

Left-footed centre-half Foulds, who can also play at full-back, will be following a well trodden path of young Football League defenders to move to Everton in recent times - most famously John Stones, but they have also picked up the likes of Mason Holgate, Brendan Galloway and Luke Garbutt over the last few seasons.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch