Sunderland fight off Liverpool and Man City to agree fee with Dundee for Scottish sensation

DECISION TIME ... John Souttar.
DECISION TIME ... John Souttar.

JOHN Souttar is mulling over an offer from Sunderland after Dundee accepted an improved bid for the teenage prospect.

The Gazette revealed last month how Sunderland were expected to up the ante for Souttar after seeing a £400,000 bid for the 17-year-old rejected during the summer.

The two clubs are understood to have been in contact ever since and have now reached an agreement over an initial £600,000 payment, plus a hefty sell-on clause for the centre-half.

Sunderland are the only club who have made a concrete bid for Souttar, who has made 14 first-team appearance since he was handed his debut last January – though the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City have shown interest.

And he is thought to have been at the Stadium of Light for Sunday’s defeat to Liverpool and has been given a tour of the facilities at the Academy of Light.

But the move is not a certainty, with Souttar watched by scouts from all of the Premier League’s heavyweights since breaking into the first-team picture.

If the likes of Liverpool or Manchester City make a move for the teenager, then Souttar could decide to reject Sunderland’s advances.

But with Dundee ready to cash in on Souttar, Sunderland have moved into pole position by agreeing a fee, although they would have to wait until the transfer window re-opens in January before they can finalise the deal.

Despite Sunderland still being without a permanent head coach, the pursuit of Souttar falls into the club’s new transfer strategy of unearthing young prospects and developing them.

Sunderland have been scouting youngsters throughout the Football League and north of the border in the hopes of boosting the club’s Under-21 ranks.