Crystal Palace are reportedly set to rival West Ham United in the race to sign Partick Thistle starlet Aiden McGinlay.

Crystal Palace are ready to go head-to-head with West Ham United in the chase for 15-year-old Partick Thistle wonderkid Aiden McGinlay. That is according to Football Insider, which suggests the London duo could battle it out for the services of the Scottish teenage sensation, who is garnering admiring glances from south of the border.

Partick Thistle have established a reputation as one of the top academies in Scotland recently when it comes to developing young talent and exporting it, with the likes of 16-year-old Cammy Cooper having been snapped up by Premiership giants Rangers.

The Firhill side also sold Aidan Fitzpatrick to Norwich City, Liam Lindsay to Preston North End, and Jack Hendry to Wigan Athletic, all for six-figure fees in the past. And it looks like they have another nugget in the store in Aidan McGinlay.

The 15-year-old primarily operates as a midfielder but has been described as a “left-sided” wonder. Of course, he has yet to break through as a professional, but the youngster is said to be impressing in the youth sides, and he scored twice against Livingston recently for the Under-16s. The teenager’s eye-catching displays have also earned him a maiden call-up for the latest Scotland Under-16 squad.

West Ham, for one, have been impressed by the midfielder after witnessing a string of stellar displays for Partick’s youth sides. And the Hammers’ scouts were in attendance to watch him net a brace over Livingston. West Ham are planning to follow-up the scouting mission of the Scottish wonderkid by lodging a six-figure bid for the player as they look to blow their competition out of the water.

The Hammers’ owners GSBK spent lavishly on major acquisitions this summer. But that is not their primary objective on the transfer side; discovering young gems and developing them into first-team players is also high on the list as it could save the club millions.

West Ham are searching for fresh talent to add to their shrinking youth ranks after a host of their most promising players left this summer to pursue other opportunities. Highly-rated Sonny Perkins left the London Stadium in recent months, leaving more room for new attacking talent.

Crystal Palace, meanwhile, have been advocating youth since the arrival of Patrick Vieira last summer. And this change of tack in recruitment saw the Eagles produce vibrant and entertaining football for their supporters. The long list of highly-rated prospects and young players currently on the books at Selhurst Park is astonishing.

They are now looking to add another exciting talent in McGinlay. But Crystal Palace will have to fend off stiff competition from London rivals West Ham. It will be interesting to see which of the London duo will come out on top in the race to sign the 15-year-old Scottish prodigy.

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