After contract negotiations with Everton broke down, the Premier League has permitted Thierry Small to conduct talks with other clubs.
According to Football Insider, the Premier League has permitted Everton’s teenage left-back prospect Thierry Small to talk with suitors following his contract impasse with the Toffees. The news boosts hopes for Manchester United and Arsenal, who remain keen on the prodigy.
Everton tried convincing Small to stay at the club and offered him a professional contract earlier this month when he turned 17. The Toffees reportedly made a generous contract offer to the left-back, but Small rejected it. The club are expected to go back with another offer, although now he can talk to other clubs.
The young defender turned 17 earlier this month, which entitles him to a pro-contract. He also became Everton’s youngest player ever to debut for the first team when he came on in the 85th minute during the club’s FA Cup fourth-round win back in January this year.
The Toffees would like to keep him long-term, with Small’s existing contract ending in 2022. Since talks stalled, the teenager has been training independently, away from the first team. Adding to Everton’s problems, the Premier League have now permitted him to conduct talks with other clubs to evaluate offers.
Former Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was highly impressed by the left-back, and there were talks of Real Madrid making a move. Although Brexit rules could prevent players under 18 from moving to overseas clubs, English clubs have a high chance of signing Small.
Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked with a move and could hold talks with the teenager’s representatives in the coming days. Both clubs have been eyeing young talents during this window to develop them into first-team stars.
Arsenal signed Mika Biereth from Fulham earlier in this window, while Manchester United have been on the lookout for young, homegrown talents, having already signed Ethan Ennis from rivals Liverpool. These clubs view Small as someone who can play proper first-team football in the coming years. Owing to Brexit rules, they can be relaxed about the youngster joining an overseas club, thus boosting their chances.
There is a chance Small might stay put in Merseyside, although Everton have not submitted an improved proposal. The other Premier League clubs can certain fulfil Small’s financial expectations, and a move might happen in the coming days or later in the year.