Exclusive: Everton in three-club hunt to sign ball-playing centre-back
EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Premier League trio Everton, Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion are tracking Bradford City teenager Oliver Kirkpatrick, Football Insider sources can reveal.
Kirkpatrick has come through Bradford’s academy and was named on the bench for the first-team in the EFL Trophy the clash with Rotherham United last week.
The 17-year-old has been earning rave reviews for Bradford’s youth sides and he is highly-regarded at the League One club.
The ball-playing central defender’s potential has not gone unnoticed among clubs higher up the football pyramid with scouts from Premier League clubs making regular checks on Kirkpatrick.
A well placed source has told Football Insider that Everton, Leicester and West Brom are admirers of the teenager and see Kirkpatrick as someone for the future.
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Everton’s recent transfer policy has been to sign the best homegrown talent around to try and develop them into first-team regulars, while Leicester and West Brom are all also keen to their youth set-ups.
Bradford are keen to keep hold of Kirkpatrick, but are bracing themselves for interest in the defender if he continues his rapid rate of progress.
In other Everton transfer news, Leighton Baines raves about starlet loved by David Unsworth.