Cardiff City are poised to beat Swansea City and a legion of Championship clubs to the signing of Crawley striker Max Watters, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.
The 21-year-old is in advanced talks to join Neil Harris’ side on a permanent deal this month.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Cardiff have edged ahead of Swansea and other second-tier sides to close in on Watters’ signature.
Swansea tabled a bid for Watters earlier in the January window but have been reluctant to meet Crawley’s £1million asking price.
It would be a major coup for the Bluebirds, who have scored just 25 goals in their 22 Championship matches this season.
Watters has emerged as striker in demand after a goal-laded campaign for FA Cup giantkillers Crawley.
He has scored an impressive 16 goals in 18 appearances in all competitions this season, including 13 in 14 league fixtures.
The young Englishman has also netted three goals in four domestic cup appearances, including an 88th minute winner in the FA Cup second round at Wimbledon.
The summer signing from Doncaster Rovers has also enjoyed spells at Mickleover, Gainsborough Trinity and Grantham in his career.
Harris is keen to add another striker to his goal-shy side, placed 15th in the Championship.
By contrast, Swansea are second in the league under Steve Cooper and pushing hard for automatic promotion to the Premier League.