Middlesbrough and Everton battling it out for Jamie Vardy Academy product

Tony Pulis is eyeing a promising youngster
Tony Pulis is eyeing a promising youngster

Middlesbrough are reportedly keen on Darlington defender Josh Heaton.

The Daily Mail are reporting that Heaton, formerly of Preston North End, has caught the eye of Boro scouts after impressing at Jamie Vardy's recent V9 Academy trials.

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Heaton, 21, spent last season with Darlington and his impressive performances at centre back earned him an invite to Vardy's academy.

A week-long event, the academy gave non-league players the chance to impress over 150 scouts from professional clubs in two showcase games held at Manchester City's Etihad Campus.

And it was Heaton who stood out, with Boro and Everton reportedly interested in the youngster following his performances.

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While at Darlington last season, Heaton made 21 appearances and netted once.