West Ham United, Bournemouth and Brighton are all keeping a close eye on highly-rated Southend United forward Charlie Kelman, sources have told HITC.
The teenager is regarded as one of the most promising strikers anywhere in English football right now having scored a stunning 61 goals at youth level in 2017/18.
Kelman has made the step up to U23 level this season and enhanced his reputation with the winning goal in Southend’s 4-3 FA Youth Cup victory against Leyton Orient on Thursday, helping the Shrimpers recover from 3-1 down in dramatic fashion.
And HITC sources are telling us that Premier League trio West Ham, Bournemouth and Brighton are now seriously interested in signing Kelman having sent scouts to watch him in midweek. Dean Smith's Championship outfit Aston Villa are also understood to be very keen.
Kelman is currently a scholar at Southend and the League One club would love to tie him down to a professional deal now that the forward has turned 17. Any club hoping to snap up Kelman from under Southend’s nose would have to pay a compensation fee.
Kelman lives in Wickford but spent six years of his childhood living in America. He was called up by the USA’s U18 squad back in June.