Ashley Phillips of Blackburn Rovers has been linked with a move to Manchester United.
According to the Sun, United is competing with Chelsea for the England under-17 international.
Phillips, 16, has appeared in eight games for Blackburn Rovers’ under-23 team this season, scoring two goals.
The center-back has already trained with Blackburn’s first team, according to The Sun, and United has been scouting him ‘all-season.’
Everton and Tottenham are also said to be interested in signing the defender, who is Blackburn’s most highly rated defensive prospect since Phil Jones.
With Blackburn currently second in the Championship and vying for promotion, luring Phillips away may be difficult, with the article stating it would ‘cost a fortune to do so.
Phillips may be worthwhile to invest in. Last summer, manager Tony Mowbray spoke to Blackburn’s official website about how the potential had piqued his interest, extolling his virtues.
“He’s a wonderful footballer and he’s going to be a mega footballer, I’m very confident,” Mowbray remarked, “but he’s a very young lad.”
“Did you see him? He’s a 6’3, 6’4 great cut of a guy, lightning-fast, calm with the ball, and aggressive. I believe this football club has a player on their hands, and we must handle his integration into our team as best we can.”
Phillips will turn 17 in June, and according to Lancs Live, Blackburn has agreed to a three-year professional contract with him that will begin after that date.
Of course, United might try to include Phil Jones as a stipulation in any trade. The defender’s contract at Old Trafford expires in a year.
United have increased their pursuit of the greatest young talents in the UK over the last year, with Brexit legislation requiring the club to recruit non-citizens once they reach the age of 18.