Italian giants AC Milan have joined the race to sign the highly rated West Brom defender Nathan Ferguson, with scouts being sent to watch the full-back in action.
Ferguson, 19, is one of the hottest properties in Europe with clubs from seven countries reportedly showing real interest in signing him in the summer.
Milan’s interest has thrown a spanner in the works of Tottenham’s transfer ambitions – the north London side being the favourites to secure Ferguson’s services.
The West Brom full-back is wanted by some off Europe’s elite with Hamburg and Marseille also sending scouts to watch Ferguson in action this year.
Ferguson has certainly impressed in his debut season at the Hawthorns, with his defensive performances keeping the side top of the Championship pile – indeed the Baggies have not lost in the league since October 1.
The teenager’s club form has seen him called up to the England set-up, receiving four caps for Paul Simpson’s Under-20s side this year.
However, the expressed interest could come at a cost for West Brom as the teenager is out of contract in the summer, meaning he could be moving elsewhere on a free transfer.
Due to FA regulations, Ferguson and his representatives will be able to agree terms in January and sign a pre-contract with a club of his choosing meaning West Brom could lose out on a big transfer fee.
This situation may see Ferguson move in January so West Brom can cash in on the prospect, rather than seeing him move for free in the summer.
Ferguson’s potential move would not be the first time the Baggies have lost out on profit from an academy player this season – after teen ace Louie Barry signed for Barcelona for only £235,000 in July.
Manager Slaven Bilic has been impressed with the teenager’s start to the season making him the first choice full-back in the team.