Aston Villa continue to make moves in the January transfer window amid reports claiming they are closing in on the signing of Dundee United starlet Kerr Smith.
Writing initially on Twitter, journalist Scott Burns said: “@dundeeunitedfc defender Kerr Smith heads south to finalise big-money move to @AVFCOfficial.”
Then, in a follow-up article for The Scottish Express Sport, he added: “Dundee United have agreed a deal to sell Kerr Smith to Aston Villa in a deal that could eventually net them close to £2 million. The English Premier League side have managed to negotiate a significant transfer fee up front along with a number of major add-ons for their in-demand academy graduate.
“Crystal Palace, Southampton, Everton and Chelsea were all interested in the 17-year-old but Steven Gerrard’s Villa have struck a deal with sporting director Tony Asghar. The teenager has now been given permission to travel south for a medical, to agree terms and finalise his dream move.
While the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne will no doubt play a major part in Villa’s first team over the coming weeks and months, the arrival of Smith is one for the future.
Indeed, in that aforementioned article, Burns added: “Villa rate Smith as one of the best young defenders of his age in the United Kingdom and very much see him as one for the future. He will be integrated into their under-23 squad in the short-term.”
Already standing at 6 foot, the 17-year-old has had his taste of first-team football this season for United, playing five games in the Scottish Premiership, including playing the full 90 minutes of a 1-1 draw against Celtic.
Speaking in April of last year, fellow defender Mark Connolly said: “Kerr, who played beside me, was fantastic. He’s 16 years of age and it’s incredible.”
Given the kind of project Gerrard is embarking on at Villa Park, the signing of a hugely talented youngster like Smith is sure to have him buzzing.
With the likes of Carney Chukwuemeka and Jacob Ramsey seeing some game-time in recent weeks, it’s clear the new Villa boss is intent on giving young players the chance to shine if they deserve it.
It’s exactly why he will surely be loving the prospect of coaching someone like Smith at Villa.