EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey

Aston Villa are ready to rival Leeds United for the signature of Coventry City starlet Sam McCallum, Football Insider can reveal.

The 19-year-old full-back has emerged as one of the most exciting young players in the lower divisions after being catapulted into the Sky Blues’ first team.

A Villa source has told Football Insider the club are planning to regularly scout McCallum, 19, over the coming months as they look to intensify their interest.

These transfer missions will come at a time when the teenage left-back is on the radar of multiple leading clubs including Championship big hitters Leeds United.

The race for McCallum is hotting up after he broke into the Coventry team at the end of last season, following his arrival in the summer of 2018 from non-league Hearn Bay.

The teenager, who turned 19 at the start of this month, initially impressed in the Under-23s before Mark Robins threw him into first-team action.

McCallum started this season on the bench but has made seven appearances, including four league starts, for the team that leads the League One table.

He has only made 15 appearances for Coventry, but he is being tipped as a player capable of making it at Premier League level.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that Dean Smith has given the green light for the club to sell one of his signings.