Linfield hero Trai Hume is set to leave Windsor Park next month with English League One side Lincoln City leading the chase for his signature.
The Northern Ireland Under-21 defender is regarded as one of the best players in Irish League football and has a host of admirers across the water, though Sunday Life Sport understands that ahead of the January transfer window Lincoln have stolen a march on the rest by making a bid for the 19-year-old and are hopeful they can seal a deal.
Premier League side Burnley plus Ipswich Town and Sunderland have also shown interest in Hume, who has been excellent for the Blues this season after excelling for Ballymena United on loan last term.
Hume is very much in the mould of the modern-day full-back and is a huge threat when he races up the right flank to deliver crosses and a danger inside the area from set-pieces.
In the summer Celtic and Lincoln were keen to snap him up but while the switch didn’t happen then, Linfield are ready to do business in January. Lincoln, nicknamed the Imps, have shown their intent already and now it will be up to other clubs if they want to firm up their interest by putting a transfer fee on the table.
Linfield manager David Healy has quite a record for nurturing young talent at Linfield before the club sells them on. Shayne Lavery, Joel Cooper, Charlie Allen and Dale Taylor are recent examples and Hume is expected to be next in January. In a recent interview when asked about Hume, Healy said: “Trai is a wonderful young talent and I would be shocked if there wasn’t interest in him.
“He is a Linfield player. We declined an offer for him in the summer. If given the opportunity and first and foremost the fee and timing is right for the football club, the Chairman (Roy McGivern) and the board will sit down and discuss what is best for us going forward.”
With Hume primed to move on, Linfield will be pleased that right-back Conor Pepper is recovering from his shoulder injury and is looking to return in the coming weeks.