HUDDERSFIELD TOWN are reported to have rebuffed suggestions that Everton have sealed a deal for goalkeeper Alex Smithies.
But sources on Merseyside say Toffees boss David Moyes could be back in the summer with a multi-million pound bid.
Reports earlier this week claimed that Everton had already agreed a £2million fee for the England under-19s international, beating off interest from Premier League rivals Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur.
However according to reports in Liverpool newspapers, insiders at Town are still waiting for the Goodison Park outfit to make a concrete offer for the player who has also represented his country at under-16s, under-17s and under-18s levels.
Moyes crossed the Pennines to personally run the rule over Smithies in Huddersfield’s 1-0 home defeat to Southend on April 4 and is understood to be keen to recruit a new keeper to push first choice Tim Howard.
The United States international’s current understudy Carlo Nash will be 36 in September and has still not made a first team appearance since his move from Wigan at the start of the season.
Long-standing deputies Iain Turner and John Ruddy have yet to stake their claim for a senior berth despite extensive loan spells with lower division clubs to gain experience.
At a time when English goalkeeping talent is at a premium, 6ft 1in Smithies, who turned 19 in March, is one of the most highly-rated prospects around and penned a new deal with the Terriers this season to keep him contracted with them until 2012.
He has been a regular during Lee Clark’s management making 29 appearances since his debut in December 2007 but missed Huddersfield’s final game of the campaign on Saturday with a minor shoulder injury as Simon Eastwood – another England U19s international deputised.
See Friday's Examiner for an interview with Huddersfield Town boss Lee Clark on Alex Smithies and Town legend Andy Booth's first column.