Highly-rated defender Luca Murphy has left Hartlepool United by mutual consent – and the scramble for his signature has already begun, we can reveal.
The 17-year-old central defender did not have a professional deal with Pools, and it has been clear for sometime that he was looking to move on after a move to Premier League Fulham failed to materialise in January.
Now with Hartlepool failing to agree a professional contract with the player, and knowing they would not receive compensation due to their non-league status, they have now agreed to him leaving before the end of the season.
Premier League Manchester United, Tottenham, Newcastle, Leicester, Cardiff and Wolves have all shown an interest in Murphy and scouted him closely in recent months, but there is also plenty of Football League clubs who are keen with the likes of Leeds, Middlesbrough, Brentford, Sheffield United, Barnsley and Sunderland also looking at him too, according to our sources.
Murphy is now set to take his first steps into the professional game, once the battle for his signature is won, and he will spent some time mulling over his next move before agreeing the first pro deal of what he hopes will be a long and successful career.
Get the latest personalised Three Lions products on our new TEAMtalk England shop!