KEY POINTS

  • English Premier League clubs are tracking Kerr Smith's next move
  • Aston Villa has become the new favorite to sign Smith
  • The 16-year-old has been highly regarded at Dundee

Manchester United could be on the verge of losing one of its top targets to a rival English Premier League club.

The Red Devils have been playing exceptional offensively this season. However, the club is seemingly aware that there is a void needed to be filled on the defensive end.

Ahead of the next transfer window, Manchester United has been open about its aggressive approach in scouting young talents. Among the teenage prospects is Dundee United’s Kerr Smith.

Smith has already been invited to train with Manchester United and Aston Villa in the past. However, the latter recently became the favorite to sign the 16-year-old, according to various sources including, football journalist Alan Nixon.

International Business Time could not independently verify this information.

Aston Villa’s stance on luring Smith is said to have not changed, while Manchester United is still in the mix.

The teenage defender has been linked to a move away from Scottish Premiership since last year, but all speculations came to an end when he signed his professional contract with Dundee United’s senior team.

Aside from the aforementioned clubs, Liverpool, Leicester City and Southampton are all mentioned as suitors of the Scot.

Kerr Smith Kerr Smith (L) and Callum Robinson in action during a friendly match between Dundee United and Sheffield United in August 2020. Photo: Getty Images / Mark Scates - SNS Group

In his maiden season with Dundee, Smith has been featured in three Premiership games--once as a starter.

As early as now, the center-half has already received rave reviews from the club’s veterans. 

“There was our 16-year-old center-half [Smith] who was fantastic,” Dundee star defender Mark Connolly told The Courier of Smith’s game. “For me, I was absolutely delighted with the players who played on Wednesday night, particularly the young boys.”

“Kerr, who played beside me, was fantastic,” he added. “He’s 16 years of age and it’s incredible. It’s the way the football club wants to go, bringing young players through, and this boy’s ready. [He] signed a new deal here and it’s fantastic. He could have gone elsewhere but he’s chosen to stay here and that’s fantastic.”

“He’s training with us every day, doesn’t look out of place and all I can do is help him as much as I can with my experience."

Former Dundee United defender Lewis Toshney, meanwhile, has also noticed the potential of Smith after just one game.

“You get to see talent develop. For example, I worked with young Kerr Smith, who made his first start against Kilmarnock the other week, and remember thinking ‘he could really kick on.'” Toshney told the British outlet.