Ballymena United have turned down Crystal Palace’s transfer bid for teenage striker Matthew Shevlin, Times Sport can reveal.
The Showgrounds club have rebuffed the Selhurst Park side’s initial offer for the 16-year-old, who impressed on trial last month.
“It was a lower bid than we were expecting, particularly from a Premier League Club, and it has been rejected,” Ballymena United chairman John Taggart told Times Sport.
“Crystal Palace had suggested they were keen to get a deal tied up fairly quickly but their offer wasn’t really one we would entertain.
“Hopefully they will go back and have another think and come back with an improved offer - I would be disappointed if they didn’t.
“We don’t want the young lad to be held back but at the same time, we have to look after the interests of Ballymena United and try to get a deal which will give us a platform to take the club forward.
“But central to everything is that it has to be a deal that suits Matthew - we wouldn’t send him to anywhere that he didn’t want to go.”
While Palace’s offer hasn’t met United’s asking price, there remains plenty of cross-channel interest in the player
Among the latest clubs to show an interest are Liverpool, Huddersfield Town and Celtic whose Head of Recruitment, former player Willie McStay, watched Shevlin in Saturday’s defeat by Crusaders.
“We’ve had a number of clubs wanting to see Matthew in action so hopefully something will happen for the lad,” added John.