Everton are on the trail of Barsley defender Mason Holgate, who could follow the footsteps of current Toffees defender John Stones to Goodison Park.
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are also aware of the teenager’s talent and have been tracking him closely in recent weeks.
Holgate, who had been with Barsley since at the age of nine, is a centre-back in the mould of former Tykes starlet Stones – who the Merseysiders snapped up in January 2013, aged 18.
18-year-old Holgate signed his first professional deal at Oakwell in September and made his first-team debut for the English League One outfit earlier this month.
After Holgate put pen to paper on his contract, Barnsley academy manager Ronnie Branson said: “Mason is a bright and intelligent player.”
“He’s a good centre-half and we have high hopes for him to progress. We’ve had interest from other clubs for Mason.”