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The 19-year-old has been training with the Black Cats and manager Gus Poyet has confirmed that he is working hard to come to a deal with the player and his agent

By William Joyce

Sunderland are close to agreeing a deal with Crewe Alexandra for out-of-contract striker Max Clayton, Goal has learned.

The highly-rated England youth international has turned down an offer of a new contract at Gresty Road, opting instead to move on from the club where he has come through the ranks.

A number of Premier League and Championship clubs have shown an interest, but the 19-year-old trained with Sunderland earlier in July and impressed boss Gus Poyet enough to pursue a deal.

Poyet had earlier confirmed that he is hoping to tie up a deal for Clayton: “He did well, and we are talking to him and his agent."

"I like to put everything on the table - for any player.

"The qualities we are looking for, the money - there are so many things that need to come together."

Should the two clubs not reach a deal between them, a fee would be set by a transfer tribunal as Clayton is under 23 years old cannot leave on a free transfer.