LATICS' teenage starlet Tom Hamer has been linked with a move away from Boundary Park after reports suggested several Premier League clubs were keeping tabs on the classy defender.

Everton, Burnley and Brighton are all thought to be keen on the 18-year-old, along with Championship outfit Leeds United.

A right-back by trade, Hamer — who impressed towards the back end of last season when he was thrust into the Athletic side due to injuries — can also operate at centre-half and has a wicked long throw in his armoury.

Although he made only nine appearances in all competitions — including a man-of-the-match performance in a 0-0 shut-out at Oxford on his league debut — it was enough to alert wily scouts who were quick to spot bagfuls of talent.

Hamer penned his first professional contract with Athletic in April and would command a reasonable fee, but that is unlikely to put off any potential suitors willing to take a gamble on someone who has already been likened to former Latics star James Tarkowski.

Having swooped for 17-year-old Sam Graham on a season-long loan from Sheffield United, and with Peter Clarke, Anthony Gerrard, George Edmundson, Andy Taylor, Rob Hunt, Cameron Dummigan and Jamie Stott making up the defensive roll call, Athletic may find any substantial cash offers difficult to turn down.

New manager Frankie Bunn, who revealed his team of backroom staff yesterday, is looking to strengthen other areas — specifically in attack, with only trialist strikers Jonathan Benteke, Chris O'Grady and the re-signed Jose Baxter providing any kind of ammunition ahead of the big kick-off at home to MK Dons on August 4.

Max Wragg takes up the role of first-team coach, Lawrence Williams will be first-team analyst and the fitness coach is Stuart Vance.

Wragg joins the club from Sheffield Wednesday where he held the role of under-18s coach while Williams recently held the position of first-team analyst at Huddersfield Town.

Vance is a personal trainer who will help the players with their strength and conditioning. Stuart Irwin remains in his role as physiotherapist.

More trialists are set to feature in this afternoon's friendly with Nottingham Forest (3pm).