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According to the Express, Crystal Palace are close to signing Dundee United gem Kerr Smith, who Celtic and Leeds are also interested in.

What’s the story?

Well, it seems as if Crystal Palace have won the race for Smith.

According to the print version of the Express (via the Daily Record), Patrick Vieira is close to beating Marcelo Bielsa and Ange Postecoglou to the 17-year-old’s signature.

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The Scotland Under-19 international has been on trial at Manchester United and Aston Villa in the past, with Premier League clubs keeping a close eye on him.

It was the Scottish Sun who revealed Leeds were interested, with Southampton, Celtic and Leicester also keeping tabs on the situation.

Now, Crystal Palace have stepped up their interest, in a deal which is likely to be worth £250,000.

The Eagles hope to add Smith to their Under-23 side, who currently sit sixth in the Premier League 2.

How have Crystal Palace fended off Leeds and Celtic?

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In our view, there are two reasons why Smith – who Dundee United’s Mark Connolly called “fantastic” – may be keen on a move to Selhurst Park.

Firstly, Crystal Palace have just spent £20m on a new state-of-the-art academy, in which the facilities on offer for youth prospects are among the United Kingdom’s best.

Just one look at the training complex, which includes study rooms, video analysis areas, a canteen and multi-surface pitches, will make any young prodigy sit up and take notice.

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Secondly, Crystal Palace’s Sporting Director, Dougie Freedman, has good links to Scottish football, and specifically Dundee United.

In January 2020, Freedman managed to bring the highly rated Scott Banks to south London from Dundee United, beating others to his services.

Keep an eye on this saga, as it seems the Eagles could soon complete a deal.

In other news, Eddie Howe has called 24-year-old an ‘outstanding player’, and now Newcastle want him