Birmingham have offered starlet Sone Aluko a professional contract in a bid to keep him out of the clutches of Premiership suitors.
The teenage winger has earned rave reviews playing for the England Under-15 and Under-16 teams and has been brought along steadily by Blues chief Steve Bruce.
Now 17, Aluko has been taken on the club's pre-season trip to Marbella and is in line to pen a professional deal.
"We have offered Sone a professional contract, we did it on his 17th birthday," Bruce told the Birmingham Mail.
"It hasn't been signed yet but he is our player and we've made that clear in no uncertain terms to him and other clubs who might be sniffing around.
"I think we are close to a deal. I think Sone realises his future is with us and he will be better served here.
"Obviously, he's got to feel comfortable with myself and that he will develop at Birmingham.
"It's important for a young player to see a way forward. We've watched it happen before when youngsters get the so-called move of a lifetime and it rebounds on them because they are not quite ready.
"I think we are ideal for Sone. He's from Birmingham, he lives in the area, his family are in the area."
It is being claimed that a host of scouts from Premiership sides have been impressed with Sone, but the signs are suggesting he will remain at St Andrews.