Villa vie for Argyle apprentice

Last Updated: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 12:48

Aston Villa are trying to sign Plymouth Argyle left-back Ben Purrington after he impressed against them in the FA Youth Cup.

Villa have been tracking the progress of the 17-year-old defender since the youth team's 4-3 win over Plymouth in December in which Purrington scored.

The Exeter-born starlet has been earning rave reviews at Home Park after breaking into the Argyle first team at the end of December, making 11 appearances since his Boxing Day debut.

Purrington, the nephew of former England rugby union captain Richard Hill, has been nominated for the League Two Apprentice of the Year award and has also been tipped to win a call-up to the England Under-18 squad.

But Villa are not alone in their pursuit of the youngster with Liverpool, Southampton, Reading, Brighton, Huddersfield and Bournemouth all keeping tabs on the left-back.

Purrington, who has 18 months to run on his current contract at Plymouth, is thought to be happy to be playing regular first-team football at Home Park but as yet the club have not opened talks about rewarding the youngster's progress with a new deal.

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