Dundee United rising star Kerr Smith is a January target for Crystal Palace as the Eagles look to swoop for the 17-year-old.
The Scotland Under-19 international has attracted plenty of interest from the English Premier League, with the youngster having trials at Aston Villa and Manchester United.
He opted instead to sign a professional deal with Dundee United in 2020 and made his debut in a 4-1 loss to Rangers in February last year.
Despite that interest the Express understands it’s Palace who have stepped up the chase for Smith, as they look to land him in January and field him in their under-23 side.
The Scotland youth international is under contract until 2023 and would likely cost around £250k.
In November, United boss Courts admitted his club could be fielding offers for the defender mid-season.
He said: “He has been down training with English Premier League clubs in the past so we know they are aware of him.
“It’s a pretty unique situation having a 16-year-old playing regularly in your first team and being good enough. When that happens there is always a lot of interest, especially with a defender because of the physical profile.
“And if someone of his age can handle it, then it’s attractive to clubs because they will think: ‘Where will this boy be in 4 years’ time if he’s already playing at sixteen?’
“Kerr is a really level-headed guy. He doesn’t get put up or down by much and that’s a great temperament to have.
“Hopefully we can keep him developing at our club for a while longer. Do we expect bids in January? I am not entirely sure.
“We want to keep him as long as possible but we also know he’s a talented player and naturally there will be interest.”