Plymouth Argyle’s 17-year-old prospect Jack Stephens has taken a step closer to completing a move to Fulham.
Stephens and his father, Paul, were in south-west London yesterday to see for themselves the set-up at the Premier League club.
Fulham have agreed to pay an initial £125,000 for the former Torpoint Community College student, who can play at right-back or in midfield.
Argyle could receive more money in the future, depending on the number of first team appearances Stephens makes or whether he gets an international call-up.
Stephens is in only his first year as an Argyle apprentice but he has already played six times for the senior side.
He made his debut, aged 16, as a substitute in the closing stages of the 3-2 win against Sheffield Wednesday at Home Park in September.
Fulham can complete the signing of Stephens now, rather than waiting until the transfer window reopens in the summer, because he is not a professional.
The Premier League club have carried out the negotiations with Argyle’s acting chairman and chief executive Peter Ridsdale.
Football agent Jamie Hart, the son of Swindon Town boss Paul Hart, has also been involved.
He is acting as an independent advisor to Argyle’s lead administrator Brenda Guilfoyle on any deals for players.
Debt-ridden Argyle are in a desperate financial position, with no cash to pay either their players or office staff.
So Fulham’s offer for Stephens would bring some much-needed money into the club.