Sheffield United are behind Celtic in the race to sign Luca Connell from Bolton Wanderers.
The Scottish Sun claims that the Blades are among four clubs interested in the teenage talent. Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers are the other two.
Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton also had bids for Connell rejected in January. Rangers have been linked with the 18-year-old as well.
Yet the Daily Record reports that the Hoops have the advantage when it comes to signing Connell. That is because they would pay less in training compensation than the English sides tracking the midfielder.
Due to his age, Bolton would be entitled to compensation if another club signed Connell when his contract expires this summer. However, if the youngster left England for Scotland, the cross-border tribunal fee would be significantly lower.
Who is Connell?
Despite only turning 18 in April, Connell broke into the Trotters first team in 2018/19. A product of their youth academy, he made 12 appearances in all competitions.
Generally considered a defensive midfielder, the versatile player can also operate as a full-back.
An international for the Republic of Ireland at youth level, Connell has received a call-up to the senior squad by manager Mick McCarthy.
Born in Liverpool, he could still switch his allegiance to England. However, Connell has expressed his commitment to the Irish after McCarthy’s selection. He could feature in upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark and Georgia.
The Blades are looking to improve their squad as they prepare for their first season in the Premier League in 12 years.
Whether Connell would be considered good enough to make the step up or a signing for the future remains to be seen.
Yet boss Chris Wilder is keen to bring in players who can improve and have sell on value. Connell certainly fits the bill in that regard.