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Report: Dundee United Starlet Set To Sign?

Sunderland look to have beaten off heated competition for a highly rated Scottish central defender.

Reports are coming out of Scotland this evening that suggest Sunderland have reached agreement with Dundee United over the signing of John Souttar.

According to the report in the Evening Telegraph, Sunderland have agreed a fee of around £600,000 for the highly rated 17-year-old, with the possibility of further seven-figure sum. Sunderland had a bid of £400,000 rejected for the central defender in August but have now improved their bid, which should be enough to beat off competition from Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton and Newcastle.

Souttar, who has made 14 first team appearances for the Tangerines since his debut as a 16-year-old, has already been to Sunderland to tour the facilities but has yet to agree to the move.

He spoke about Sunderland earlier this month and admitted that he was flattered by the interest in him;

A few of the boys mentioned it but you try not to think about that. I was just concentrating on the Scotland game, trying to do as best as I can.

It is flattering coming from clubs like that, the ones you see on Match of the Day. It was nice to hear but you always put it to the back of your mind.

I am focused on my club football, doing the best I can for United because all that is out of my control. The gaffer (Jackie McNamara) always gives the young ones a chance if you do well in training and have the right attitude.

There are a few good boys coming through, which is good. If you do well he won't think about age. I will never accept just being on the bench. I know a lot of people will say you are just 16 but it never comes into my head.

I just want to play every game and try and get into the manager's thoughts. You have seen people going down south and some of them just fading away.

You see others who have done exceptionally well like James McCarthy getting a move to Everton for £14 million. Everyone looks at McCarthy and how well he has done.

Everyone wants to play down in England, to play at the highest level possible. So you need to look at both sides.

As well as Souttar, Sunderland have also been linked with his Dundee United team-mates Ryan Gauld and Darren Petrie.