Brighton have agreed a deal with Hearts to sign attacker Marc Leonard, according to a report.
The Scottish Sun claims that Newcastle United, Celtic and Everton were all interested in Leonard, 16, but Brighton have stole a march in the race to snap up the teenage sensation as he edges closer to moving in the January transfer window.
It is understood that Hearts have agreed a deal that will see them pocket £350,000 based on appearances at Brighton.
Leonard has never played for the first-team at Tynecastle but has been training with the senior squad and was also invited to the Scotland Under-21s set-up in September when he was only 15.
He is not the only Hearts teenager that is attracting attention from down south either as TeamTalk has recently reported that Everton and Leeds United are keen on Harry Cochrane, who unlike Leonard, has been starring in the first-team and scored his first professional goal against Celtic in December.
Football Insider verdict
Leonard is too young to be able to tell how good he is going to be in the future, but it’s not good for Scottish football to lose players like him so young for such a cheap fee. Hearts may be happy with what they could potentially pocket for Leonard right now, but in five or six years’ time, he could be worth 10 times that. Chris Sutton urged Scottish sides to start demanding bigger fees for their players after Virgil van Dijk’s £75million move to Liverpool and he has a point. The only problem is that sides like Hearts don’t have a leg to stand on when negotiating with Premier League sides who appear to be ultra-rich in comparison.
In other Newcastle United news, the Magpies have been installed favourites to sign up this £25million Premier League forward this month.