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'We had high hopes for Reece' - Motherwell begrudgingly sell midfield talent to Canaries

Reece McAlear will initially join Paul Williams' (pictured) under-18 squad at Norwich City Picture: David Freezer/Archant

Reece McAlear will initially join Paul Williams' (pictured) under-18 squad at Norwich City Picture: David Freezer/Archant

David Freezer/Archant

Scotland youth international Reece McAlear has become the latest addition to Norwich City's revamped academy set-up, after Motherwell finally accepted a bid for their young talent.

The 17-year-old has joined the Canaries from Scottish Premiership side Motherwell and will initially join up with Paul Williams' under-18 squad.

McAlear was linked with City in recent weeks, with the Scottish Sun reporting he was close to moving to Norfolk, having previously attracted interest from Premier League rivals West Ham and Leicester City.

The teen made his debut for Motherwell's Under-20 side as a 15-year-old but only had a year left on his deal at Fir Park. He was yet to make his first-team debut but has been capped five times at under-17 level by Scotland

The Daily Record report that a fee of around £250,000, plus add-on fees, was agreed despite Well's hopes to keep their academy product and extend his contract - giving him a taste of senior action during pre-season recently.

Chief executive Alan Burrows, speaking to Motherwell's official website, said: "It is very much our hope that the player development pathway we provide at Motherwell results in our academy graduates progressing to professional level, then eventually into the first team.

"We had high hopes for Reece. He was getting closer and closer and indeed, played several first-team friendly matches during pre-season.

"We had positive conversations with the player, his family and his representatives about extending his stay.

"However, it was clear this was an opportunity Reece wanted to explore and probably would've explored, when his contract expired at the end of the season, had we not managed to agree a deal with Norwich now.

"This will see the club secure cash in advance, as well as maintaining some economic rights should his career continue to develop.

"It also demonstrates clearly the excellent work of our scouting and coaching staff, and further emphasises Motherwell as the club for young footballers to progress."

MORE: Exciting times for players in revamped U23 squad at City as Trophy action returns

City have brought in a raft of young talent to bolster their academy ranks this summer, including Scotland U19 keeper Archie Mair from Aberdeen and U18 winger Aidan Fitzpatrick from Partick Thistle.

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