Birmingham City rising star Rico Browne is headed to West Ham this weekend, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.
The 17-year-old defender’s future at St Andrews is shrouded in major doubt as the club look to overhaul their youth set-up.
A West Ham source has told Football Insider that it has been agreed for Browne to head to the capital on Sunday ahead of undergoing a trial.
😮 What a performance from this young man!
Rico Browne only turned 1️⃣6️⃣ last month and told BluesTV that tonight was the best night of his young football career so far.
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) January 15, 2020
It is expected the highly rated youngster will spend a “few weeks” at the Premier League high flyers while coaches run the rule over him.
Birmingham have granted permission for Browne to go as the likelihood grows he will leave his parent club.
There are other clubs interested in the youngster and he has attracted interest from more local sides.
Browne, who played in the FA Youth Cup last year while still at school, is coming to the end of the first year of his two-year scholarship at Birmingham.
This comes at a time when the club are considering ditching their Under-23s and Under-18s teams and changing to B and C teams in the future.
That would see them copying the model at Brentford, a club regarded as punching well above their weight in terms of youth development and recruitment.
Birmingham have already lost one high-profile teenager this year.
England youth international Calum Scanlon, 15, joined Liverpool in January for a fee of around £500,000.
Browne has also made a major impression at Birmingham.
But the club will not stand in his way if they receive a suitable offer from West Ham or one of his other suitors.