SUNDERLAND are one of a string of Premier League and Championship clubs keeping tabs on non-league prospect Che Adams.
The Black Cats along with the likes of Burnley, Southampton, Norwich and Nottingham Forest have all been scouting Adams, who is currently plying his trade for Evo-Stick Northern Premier outfit Ilkeston FC.
The 18-year-old attacking midfielder came through the youth ranks at the Midlands side, but is expected to be fast-tracked up the footballing pyramid after attracting a string of suitors.
Ilkeston boss Kevin Wilson said earlier this month: “We won’t stand in the way of these lads when the opportunity comes for them to move higher but it’s very important to me personally that they go for the right reasons – not just because an agent can see a chance to make money.
“Most of these kids have been with me since they were 15 and I care very much about what happens to them.
“With the best will in the world, they don’t have the experience to handle certain situations off the field and need to be protected.”
Chairman Dave Mantle added: “Che is one of a number of players who have emerged from our academy to win regular places in our Evo-Stik League Premier Division team but he’s the one who is attracting most interest.”
Sunderland have been proactive in looking for unknown gems down the leagues over recent seasons after bringing winger Duncan Watmore to the Stadium of Light 15 months ago.
Watmore arrived from Conference North side Altrincham Town, but has been one of the star turns of the Under-21 side since, with the 20-year-old extending his Sunderland contract until the summer of 2016 last month.