Sources: Birmingham slap 7-figure price tag on Tottenham, West Ham and Brighton defender target Browne
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.
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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.