Premier League • England

Exclusive: Everton, Brighton battling to sign Irish sensation Mason Melia

Everton, Brighton want to sign Irish youngster Mason Melia

Everton, Brighton want to sign Irish youngster Mason Melia

Everton and Brighton and Hove Albion are battling it out to sign Irish teen sensation Mason Melia, sources have exclusively told TEAMtalk. 

The Toffees have put a real focus on signing exciting young talents this summer and have already made three exciting additions to their youth setup.

They have tied up deals for Northern Irish forward Braiden Graham (16), former Arsenal striker Omari Benjamin (18) and Scottish attacker Ceiran Loney.

Brighton, on the other hand, have an excellent track record of unearthing young gems and developing them into world-class players.

Melia is regarded as one of the best young talents to emerge from Ireland after impressing for Dublin-based outfit St Patrick’s Athletic.

The 16-year-old is already playing senior football for St Patrick’s in the League of Ireland Premier Division, making his debut this season as a 15-year-old.

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Across 39 senior outings in all competitions for St Pat’s, he has scored seven goals and provided three assists.

A host of Premier League clubs have been credited with an interest in Melia, but TEAMtalk understands Everton and Brighton are currently leading the race for the teenager.

Everton, Brighton pushing for Melia deal

Melia enhanced his reputation while representing the Republic of Ireland at the under-17s Euros in May last year, scoring two goals and creating two assists as the Irish reached the quarter-finals.

The talented teenager, who plays as a centre-forward, cannot move to the UK until he turns 18 due to Brexit rules, and is under contract at St Patrick’s until 2026.

However, Everton and Brighton are ready to secure a deal for Melia this summer and allow him to stay at St Pat’s until he turns 18, putting them in pole position for his signature.

The Toffees have made a positive start to the transfer window by making three additions to their senior team – winger Jack Harrison (loan), midfielder Tim Iroegbunam and attacker Iliman Ndiaye, whose arrival has now been officially confirmed.

Their business isn’t done yet though as the Merseyside club prepare to enter into a new era under soon-to-be owners, the Friedkin Group.

As for Brighton, they are also going through a summer of change with 31-year-old Fabian Hurzeler replacing Roberto de Zerbi as manager.

They too have started the window positively with highly-rated wingers Yankuba Minteh and Ibrahim Osman coming in.

The Seagulls’ focus on signing youth players with high potential hasn’t changed and they will do all they can to beat Everton in the race to sign Melia.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal have also shown an interest in Melia but Everton and Brighton are the big favourites at this stage.

FULL BREAKDOWNEvery Premier League player whose contract expired at the end of the 2023/24 season