By Declan Walsh

11th Jan, 2022 | 4:16pm

Aston Villa beat Everton in race to sign Kerr Smith, Dundee United defender set for medical

Aston Villa have beaten Everton in the race to sign young Dundee United defender Kerr Smith, according to the Daily Record.

The Scottish newspaper reports that Smith, 17, has been granted permission to head to England to undergo a medical at Villa Park and also put the finishing touches to his “dream move”.

It is understood that the deal could see Dundee United net £2million.

Crystal Palace, Southampton and Chelsea have also been interested in Smith.

Missed out

Smith is someone who we would have liked see join the Toffees at some point in the near future.

He’s only 17 but the Scotland youth international has already broken into the Dundee United senior squad at Tannadice and made seven appearances in all competitions this season.

In total, the defender has played 12 times for the Terrors and even completed an impressive 90 minutes versus Celtic in September when United drew 1-1 away at the Glasgow club.

Smith is most likely going to join up with Villa’s Under-23s team once he moves there but he’ll be in a good place to break into their senior squad in the future, especially with Steven Gerrard likely knowing him well from his time in Scotland with Rangers.

Rafa Benitez has a big draw as a manager but he’s been beaten by his former player on this occasion.

Still, Everton need to focus on improving the first team.

Relegation isn’t something that’s outside the realism of possibility this season based on the way we’ve played and a lot needs to happen to rescue what has been a dismal campaign.

Signing Smith would have been a good long-term plan but for now, he isn’t needed.

In other Everton news, the Blues are ready to move for this “top-class” English defender.

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