According to the Daily Mail, Manchester City have beaten both Rangers and Liverpool to the signature of Kilmarnock teenager Liam Smith.
It’s reported that the reigning Premier League champions have agreed to pay the Ayrshire club £200,000 in compensation for the 17-year-old, who will soon relocate to England.
Smith’s City scholarship is due to begin later this month before a three-year professional contract starts in the summer.
Rangers have been linked with a move for the Scotland youth international for some time, with the club first linked with Smith back in May [Scottish Sun].
However, it seems the Gers were eventually outmuscled by the English heavyweights.
It would be worth Rangers’ while continuing to keep an eye on how the young winger develops down in Manchester, though.
Given their massive squad and financial resources, it’s as tough for an Academy player to break into the City first team as it is to get into any starting XI in the world.
In recent times, the Gers have taken both Brandon Barker and teenager, Kane Ritchie-Hosler, from the Etihad. Both players felt they would be best served by making the move, given the playing opportunities available at first-team and Academy level at Rangers.
Investment in the club’s youth department has been considerable over the last year, with the likes of Nathan Young-Coombes, Umaro Balde and Krystof Hampl also making the move to Glasgow from clubs in Britain and mainland Europe.