Aston Villa are reportedly leading Manchester United in pursuit of 16-year-old Dundee United whizkid Kerr Smith this summer.

According to The Sun, Manchester United are on the verge of missing out on the services of Kerr Smith. The Dundee United prodigy is being highly regarded in his native Scotland and is tipped for a move to England in the summer.

However, it appears Aston Villa are the ones leading the race to sign Smith, who is valued at around £500,000. Manchester United were initially in pole position to secure his services, but the youngster feels he has more prospects of making it to the big stage at Villa Park, as they offer him an easier pathway to first-team football.

A centre-back by trade, Kerr Smith has already featured in three competitive matches for the Tangerines, after making his debut against Rangers back in February. The 16-year-old has impressed with his composure and maturity that is well beyond his years. Therefore, missing out on his services should be a blow for Manchester United.

There is no secret that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has developed a team planning that revolves around young British players. It has been crucial behind the rapid development of Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay. And in Kerr, the Manchester United boss would found himself another prospect who is more than capable of becoming an asset for the club.

It is, however, fair to point out that multiple defenders, including Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe, have struggled with lack of game-time under Solskjaer this season. They have not really been favoured in the first-team, despite the inconsistencies of Victor Lindelof.

It has even led to Tuanzebe being linked with a move away from Manchester United this summer, while the same can be said for full-back Brandon Williams as well.

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The Red Devils have shown a lot of ambition in the market as well and are likely to splash the cash for at least one top-class centre-back. One of the players who could reportedly make the move to Manchester United is Nikola Milenkovic.

A move to Aston Villa, therefore, is perhaps the wiser option for Kerr Smith as he looks to make a breakthrough at Villa Park, though he will have to compete with the established defensive pairing of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa next season.

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