LIVERPOOL yesterday handed Ross County a major financial boost as they agreed to pay a six-figure fee for talented youngster Gary Mackay Steven.

The promising Highlander, who recently turned 17, underwent a medical and signed a pre-contract agreement with Rafael Benitez's side.

Yesterday, he was joined on Merseyside by George Adams, the club's director of football, who flew down to finalise County's part of the deal.

The lucrative agreement with the English Premiership club is being seen as a huge endorsement of the work within County's youth academy set-up.

Mackay Steven, from Thurso, was a stand-out in the under-19 side that won the league title this year, and he also turned out for the Scotland under-17s in Belfast last month.

Under the terms of the deal, payments will be linked to first team appearances, with a sell-on agreement also bringing a percentage sum should Liverpool eventually move Mackay Steven on.

Adams said: "It's a fantastic chance for the lad and he is proud and very excited. I believe he can have a great future in the game."