Sky Bet Championship rivals Birmingham City and Sunderland could be set to go into battle to sign Northern Ireland Under-21 sensation Paul Smyth according to the Birmingham Mail.

The 19-year-old winger currently plays his football at the top level of Northern Irish football with Linfield and the player is quickly attracting admirers after a string of good performances.

Smyth averaged over a goal every other game at club level last season as Linfield won the league title while the youngster was the winner of no less than four end of season club awards. Smyth scored Linfield’s Goal of the Season last term during a match at Glenavon in November.

It has now been reported that Sky Bet Championship pair Birmingham City and Sunderland are very keen on signing the player while English Premier League duo Everton and Newcastle United are also monitoring the youngster’s progress closely.

It is thought that should Linfield decide to allow the player to move on to further his career, the club would hope to receive at least a six-figure sum for Smyth’s services.

The player, who has been tipped to play for Northern Ireland at senior level within the next 12 months, could be a gamble worth taking with Smyth likely to be available for a relatively affordable transfer fee.

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I am Dan Pentland and I am a York City season ticket holder and volunteer for men's health charity Prostate Cancer UK. In May 2015, I completed my childhood dream of visiting all 92 Football League grounds. Follow me on Twitter @DanPentlandpcuk and Facebook