Bristol Rovers beat Derby and Sheffield Wednesday to deal for teenage Chippenham Town defender

Bristol Rovers have won the race for Chippenham Town centre-back Dan Ellison, Bristol Live understands, after the 19-year-old trained with the Gas towards the end of last season.

As reported by Football Insider, the defender also had trials at Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading but Rovers have sealed a deal to take on Ellison following a breakthrough season for Chippenham in the National League South.

The teenage defender made 30 league appearances for the Bluebirds, 27 of which starts, and scored four goals as Town finished 12th in the sixth tier.

Having only turned 19 in March, the centre-back was also called up to the England C squad last month and featured in a 2-0 friendly win against Nepal.

It is believed that Rovers have been tracking Ellison for a while having invited him to train with the first team squad at the end of last season, beating clubs from the Championship and League One to his signature. An undisclosed fee will be paid to Chippenham Town given that the centre-back still has 12 months remaining on his current deal.

Although the teenager is stepping up three divisions, his arrival represents the sort of signing the Gas hierarchy are keen on making more of with emphasis on recruiting talent with high potential and nurturing them before making a sizeable profit.

With no development or Under-23s team in place yet, it is believed that Ellison will go straight into Matt Taylor's first team plans for the 2024/25 League One season. Rovers are expected back to The Quarters for the start of pre-season on July 1.

At the time of writing, the Gas are yet to announce a signing but are understood to be close to completing deals for former Bristol City centre-back Taylor Moore and Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Cameron Dawson. The first signing of the summer will also be the first completed by the new-look recruitment team installed in February which saw George Friend become Director of Football and Chris Spendlove Head of Recruitment.

Alongside Moore, should a deal be completed, Ellison would join Connor Taylor, James Connolly and James Wilson as Rovers' current options at centre-back.