Sunderland are stepping up their efforts to sign Crewe’s 19-year-old Max Clayton who has spent the last month on trial with the Black Cats, reports the Northern Echo.

The young forward who netted two goals last season, has impressed Gus Poyet who is desperate to sign a striker.   Clayton is out of contract at Gresty Road after coming through the youth system, the two clubs are now discussing compensation for the striker.

Crewe are believed to be looking for somewhere in the region of £1m.   Clayton played in two pre-season friendlies for Sunderland but has not travelled to Portugal with the first team squad yet despite this; Poyet is still keen to strike a deal.

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Crewe manager Steve Davis said any negotiations are being left to chairman, John Bowler, and Finance Operations Manager Andy Blakemore.

“The Max one is very difficult for me to talk about at the moment as I’m not too sure of the situation, that’s been left in the hands of John and Andy.

“As far as I know they are still negotiating with Sunderland so that’s as much as I can say at the moment,” he was quoted saying earlier this week.

If the two clubs cannot agree on a price, the deal will be settled through a tribunal due to Clayton’s age.

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Andrew is a journalist and history undergraduate, an honorary Wednesday fan after studying for four years in Sheffield but unfortunately will always be a Newcastle United fan.