Fulham are one of a number of Championship clubs taking a close look at Chester defender Sam Hughes, according to a report in this morning’s Daily Mail.

Barnsley had a January bid for the talented centre back rejected – which was believed to be around the £75,000 mark – and are thought to be interested in following up their interest in the summer. The teenager has also been watched extensively by Crystal Palace and Swansea – whilst Fulham have sent scouts to check on the 19 year-old’s progress. Hughes is out of contract in the summer but any successful deal will see a fee set by a tribunal.

Hughes has pleased in 23 league fixtures for Chester this season and helped them to a comfortable mid-table position in the National League. It is believed that the club would value Hughes at around £150,000. Barnsley, who have a strong tradition of nurturing young centre backs including John Stones and Alfie Mawson, would face stiff competition from Wolves for Hughes’ services.

Fulham, who are keen to add to their own defensive ranks come the summer, would also point to their success in picking up defenders from non-league, with England international Chris Smalling emerging in their senior ranks after joining from Maidstone United. Wirral-born Hughes can also operate at right back or in central midfield.