Mason Holgate is expected to sign for Everton today having agreed personal terms with the Premier League club.
Highly-rated teenager Holgate trained with Manchester United, but after a deal to Old Trafford didn’t materialise it is understood he spoken to Bournemouth with a view to a move to the Premier League.
The highly-rated teenager has attracted interest from Manchester United, Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Bournemouth.
But it is the Toffees who are understood to have won the race to sign the versatile 18-year-old, who can play at right back and centre half.
Holgate rejected a new contract with the League One Reds last month and trained with Manchester United for a fortnight with a proposed move to Old Trafford on the cards.
Bournemouth were hopeful of snatching Holgate from under their rivals’ noses but Everton are believed to have agreed an initial £500,000 transfer fee for his services.
And the deal could rise to up to £1million dependent on various clauses written to his contract.
Holgate is understood to have passed a successful medical at Goodison Park and a move to the Premier League is seemingly just around the corner.
Everton famously signed defender John Stones from Barnsley for £3million two seasons ago – and the player is now centre of a rumoured £30million move to defending Premier League champions Chelsea.
If Stones goes then Holgate could fill his role in the Toffees’ centre of defence.
Speaking last month Reds’ boss Lee Johnson said: “We don’t want to lose our best players but, if they have got that desire to chase the dream early, then it is very difficult to stop them.
“If he does leave, then the club will be compensated in the right way. Mason is an outstanding talent and I believe he will go to the top.”
Meanwhile, the battling Reds clinched a dramatic 7-6 penalty shootout victory over Scunthorpe United on Tuesday night to progress to the Capital Cup second round.
And victory, having lost 3-1 away to Chesterfield on the opening day of the season, was understandably a welcome boost for Johnson and his young squad.
“I’m well chuffed with the result,” reflected Johnson. “It’s such a young group, I think they grew up a lot. The character they showed in the game was exceptional.
“It could have been 3-3 at full-time because both sides missed chances, but I
thought our concentration levels were good. I was delighted.”
“Even if we had lost on penalties I’d have had the same thought process, the players were excellent for me.”