HOT-prospect Callum Saunders is expected to pledge his future to Crewe Alexandra this week.

Likely to be unleashed on League One defences next season, the 18-year-old will end any speculation of a move by putting pen to paper on a three-year professional deal.

Premier League clubs are reportedly monitoring the son of former Wales and Liverpool striker Dean after he netted more than 30 goals during the Academy 2013/14 campaign.

The striker will join fellow graduates Fraser Murdoch, Perry Ng, James Baillie and James Jones in signing long-term contracts with the Alex.

Saunders scored within a minute of coming off the bench in Wales under 19s’ 3-0 win over Greece.

And boss Steve Davis is hopeful he can follow in the footsteps of former Academy graduates Dean Ashton and Nicky Maynard.

“Callum is a mature lad who knows what he wants and where he is going as a young player,” said Davis.

“He’s a great goalscorer but still has to develop physically. It’s still early in the development of all the lads. They all have a long way to go but we’re excited about their potential.”

While the graduates have all played ball, Davis will have to wait on decisions from Max Clayton and Byron Moore, as expected.

“We’ve not set a deadline but they understand that we cannot wait forever because I need to know if I have to bring in replacements,” he added.

“I think they would benefit from being here and I hope to have them in my plans for next season, but it is out of our hands until they reach a decision.”

Regardless of the duo’s decision, Davis will look to sign at least another striker and a winger, while a midfielder is also on his wish list.

“I need to replace some of the lads we let go,” he added. “Some can come from within and we have a decent sized squad already.

“But if I can find three more quality players to help us, that would be a real plus. We know what we want and what we need but it’s important that we get the right characters into the club.

“Unless you speak to a lot of people about a player and get an honest assessment, you don’t really know until they are in your environment.”