Tottenham and West Ham have stalled their interest in starlet defender Rico Browne after Birmingham City increased their asking price to £1million-plus, Football Insider can reveal.
The London clubs have been battling Brighton for the centre-back, 17, ahead of the summer window.
Football Insider revealed last week that Birmingham had granted permission for Browne to head to West Ham on a trial and Spurs have also verbally offered an 18-month contract to him.
😮 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
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Browne has now returned to the Midlands club with his future up in the air.
A potential move has been complicated by Birmingham’s valuation of the youngster increasing above £1m including add-ons.
That is more than they wanted for England youth international Calum Scanlon, 15, who joined Liverpool in January for a fee of up to £500,000.
Tottenham, West Ham and Brighton have been put off by the new Browne price tag.
He spent time with the east Londoners after a trial at Spurs that ended in January.
The youngster’s future at Birmingham is shrouded in major doubt as the club look to overhaul their youth set-up.
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.
The closure of the academy would save costs and see Birmingham copying the model at Brentford, a club regarded as punching well above their weight in terms of recruitment.