West Bromwich Albion have a number of young prospects coming through the ranks at The Hawthorns, with Taylor Gardner-Hickman securing his future with the Baggies yesterday, and now another youngster is reported to be close to sealing the deal with the Championship club.
According to The Athletic, West Brom’s discussions of securing a first professional contract for Reyes Cleary have progressed, moving positively in the last few weeks.
The 17-year-old has been tearing it up in the under-23s for West Brom, becoming a prolific scorer in all competitions with 19 goals from only 17 appearances this season so far, with these impressive figures reportedly drawing interest from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.
In November, Mail Online reported that the German club were ‘keen’ on him, claiming that they had sent scouts to watch the teenage sensation play for the under-23s against Stoke City.
Albion under 23s boss Richard Beale said that Cleary was an “uncut diamond” in an interview with Birmingham Live, proclaiming: “He’s a player we’ve got with lots of potential. It’s a big step up, obviously, to first-team football. Reyes knows that, he understands that, and every single day we are working to polish an uncut diamond.”
Valerien Ismael and Baggies fans will surely be relieved to hear of this progress on contract negotiations with their young striker, as attention from other clubs could have become an unwelcome distraction and hindrance to their hopes of sealing a professional contract with Cleary.
West Brom could really do with a greater end product as they have only scored three goals in their last seven games. Also, they will need to rethink their attacking options if Norwich cut short Jordan Hugill’s loan deal in the new year, in which case an opening for a potent scorer could present itself more urgently, pushing Ismael to give Clearly more first team minutes in the future.
Securing his signing would be a fantastic bit of business and a major coup for the club given Bayern’s reported interest, as they look to improve and develop their squad immediately to ensure that they can close the gap with the top three in good time.
That said, Ismael will also be expected to go into the transfer window to add quality in an effort to boost Albion’s chances of automatic promotion from the Championship.
In other news: Ismael must secure this proposed deal in January