Real Madrid and Scotland starlet Jack Harper has signed for English championship side Brighton & Hove Albion.
The 19-year-old, born in Spain to Scottish parents, joined Madrid’s youth system aged 13 and established himself as an integral part of the side. But with Madrid scrapping their C team, Harper considered his future with the Spanish side despite being offered a contract with Madrid’s B team and the offer of going out on loan to a lower league side in Spain.
Despite having two years left on his contract and offers from clubs in Spain and Italy, Harper has opted for Brighton on a two year deal and will go straight into the first team squad.
Speaking to the official Brighton website, manager Chris Hughton said: “Even at the age of 19, Jack is a well-known name and having spent the past six years at Real Madrid, there is no doubting his pedigree.
“He has a lot of potential, is a skilful type, with a good eye for goal, and can operate as a striker or playing just off of a striker. We hope we can give him the platform to realise his undoubted potential.
“He has had an excellent grounding, having come through the youth system at Real Madrid – and also has international experience at youth level.”
Harper, who has been capped for Scotland at Under-17 and 19 levels, was embroiled in controversy in March when youth manager Ricky Sbragia dropped him after claiming he could not afford to have a ‘luxury’ player in his squad for UEFA’s Elite Round.
Despite this, Harper believes that a move to Brighton can enhance his chances of receiving a call up for the Scotland national side under Gordon Strachan.