By Wayne Veysey

4th Sep, 2021 | 8:00am

Sources: Everton respond to seven-figure Southampton bid for Thierry Small

Everton have rejected a £1.5million bid from Southampton for Thierry Small, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The Saints announced the signing of the record-breaking defender, 17, last week after he snubbed the Merseysiders’ offer of a professional contract.

Football Insider broke the news that Small was headed to St Mary’s Stadium in what was a major coup given the interest from elite Premier League clubs in his signature.

The teenager headed to Southampton without a fee having been agreed as his scholarship at Everton had expired and the Premier League had informed him he was able to listen to offers.

But it will not be a free transfer as the Merseysiders are due compensation for Small’s development costs.

An Everton source has told Football Insider that Southampton have offered £1.5m for the youngster.

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That has been knocked back by his former club, who believe a fee of around £5m is a fairer reflection of his value.

He had spent six years at the club after joining from the West Brom set-up and was so highly regarded that ex-manager Carlo Ancelotti made him the youngest debutant in Everton’s history in January.

He came on as a late substitute against Sheffield Wednesday at the age of 16 years and 176 days.

Small opted to join Southampton as he felt there was a clearer pathway to regular first-team football.

He was the third defensive signing at the Saints during the summer window following fellow left-back Romain Perraud and another teenager Tino Livramento, who is a right-back.

In other news, Kieran Maguire makes ‘£100m’ Everton prediction after transfer news emerges via Sky.