Report: Aston Villa will have to see off competition from Man City if they want to sign young winger Jack Blackford

The 17-year-old has been on trial with both of the Premier League sides.

Aston Villa will reportedly have to see off competition from Manchester City if they hope to complete a deal to sign Hartlepool United youngster Jack Blackford, according to the Birmingham Mail.

The 17-year-old recently enjoyed a trial with the Villains, but has now joined up with the Citizens, and the Mail reports that he will look to make a decision regarding his next move in the near future.

The Mail suggests that Villa's interest in the prospect comes after a decision to look to bolster their options in the development sides. And having added more scouts to their ranks (via Mail), it would certainly be a positive result for their recruitment policy if they can beat the Premier League title contenders to his signature.

While it would be encouraging if Villa can win the battle for Blackford, his arrival would do little to lift the gloom that currently surrounds Villa Park.

Remi Garde's men are eight points adrift of safety in the table, and failed to make any signings during the January transfer window, so the acquisition of a winger who is yet to make a first-team appearance for the League Two side is unlikely to appease disgruntled fans who feel that the club have already accepted that relegation is a certainty.

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