Manchester United have won a seven-team battle to sign Sunderland academy prospect Joe Hugill by offering the teenager a contract worth £62,400 a year, according to reports.
The 16-year-old broke into the Black Cats’ academy ranks this season, initially playing four matches for the Under-18s side between November and January.
Hugill was then handed three chances to shine in the Premier League 2 earlier this year and he scored twice against West Ham on his first appearance in the competition.
According to the Star on Sunday, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, head of first-team development Nicky Butt and first-team coach Michael Carrick were all impressed with the youngster’s performances at Under-18s level.
As such, the Red Devils have reportedly gone to sizeable lengths – for a teenager – in their bid to sign him by offering him a contract worth £1,200 per week.
However, United reportedly hope that their deal will be enough to sway Hugill into a move to Old Trafford – if it does, he will arrive at the club’s Carrington training base in the summer for a medical and complete the move.
United have a track record of boasting exciting youth players and Solskjaer has promoted the likes of Mason Greenwood, 18, and Brandon Williams, 19, to the first team this campaign.
In other news, former United boss Louis van Gaal has spoken of his disappointment and surprise at being sacked by the club after the 2015/16 campaign.
Dutchman Van Gaal was moved on two days after tasting FA Cup glory with the Red Devils, with Jose Mourinho brought in as his successor.