Stoke City are set to beat Celtic, Rangers and company to the signing this month of Charlton Athletic sensation Alfie Doughty, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.
This site broke the news last week that Stoke had submitted a £650,000 offer for the 21-year-old and Bournemouth and QPR subsequently also had bids accepted by the Addicks.
Rangers and Celtic have both lodged pre-contract offers as they look to land him on a cut-price summer deal.
But the multiple-club race looks set to be won by Championship big hitters Stoke.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Michael O’Neill’s side have agreed personal terms with Doughty and are closing in on his signature.
That will be a blow to Charlton, who have tried to tie the 21-year-old left-sided ace to a new contract.
But manager Lee Bowyer has claimed that Doughty has agreed to stay at the club for the rest of the season.
That would mean him joining Stoke permanently and then being loaned straight back to the League One oufit.
Bowyer revealed last Thursday how Doughty’s agent has issued threats including “12-hour” and “24-hour” ultimatums, as well as talked of taking his client “cross border” to Celtic or Rangers in the summer.
Doughty is able to play at left-back, left wing-back or left midfield, and started the season in fine form before breaking down with a hamstring injury that has sidelined him since October.
He has made 10 appearances for Charlton this season, scoring one goal and supplying two assists.
Since graduating from the club’s youth set-up the young Englishman has made 41 appearances.