Brighton and Hove Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City are also keen on the player, who appears to be Crystal Palace bound.

Crystal Palace are set to win the race to sign non-league centre-back Jacob Mensah, according to The Sun (13/03. page 55).

The newspaper claims Mensah is also being tracked by Palace’s Premier League rivals, Brighton and Hove Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cardiff City.

However, it adds the Eagles are now putting together a deal for the 18-year-old Ramsgate player, after he impressed Roy Hodgson’s staff whilst on trial.

Mensah has been likened to Chris Smalling, the Manchester United and England centre-back signed from Maidstone United when the Crystal Palace boss was managing Fulham.

Mensah’s move to Palace may come as a blow to Brighton in particular, following a recent spell in the Seagulls’ academy set up.

Confirming Brighton’s approach for the by-trade roofer in January, Ramsgate boss Nick Davis told the Kent club’s official website: “It’s not often that a Premier League club comes in for one of your players to show his talents. I’m personally delighted for him and I wish him all the best.”

Joining Crystal Palace would ensure minimal upheaval for Mensah, with the South London club situated within a two-hour drive of Ramsgate, slightly shorter than Brighton and considerably so than Wolverhampton or Cardiff.

Are Palace – not Brighton, Wolves or Cardiff – the best club for Mensah to develop at?

In other news, Report: League winners want Arsenal star; club willing to offer players in exchange