The focus of Manchester United’s transfer window is firmly fixed on first-team options this summer, with a need for additional quality up front and in midfield, in particular.
But sometimes when a quality young player unexpectedly becomes available, it is a chance too good to pass up.
That appears to be the case with Arsenal’s Ethan Nwaneri, who became the Premier League’s youngest player when he was substituted on against Brentford last September at 15 years and 181 days of age.
As reported by The Athletic, United are in the hunt to sign the 16-year-old, who is still registered as a schoolboy with The Gunners.
His future at the club is uncertain, with the youngster thought to be considering his options elsewhere, putting a number of Premier League clubs on alert.
Man United will face fierce competition to land the attacking midfielder, with Chelsea and Manchester City also very keen on tempting Nwaneri away from the Emirates Stadium.
With his registration ending this month and no agreement over a new contract in sight, England U17 starlet is a matter of days away from making what will be a crucial decision over his future.
From the outside looking, staying put or moving to Chelsea would perhaps be the most likely outcome.
Nwaneri is a Londoner born-and-bred and, at such a young age, may well prefer to stay closer to home in these formative years of his development.
Chelsea have a history of paying top dollar for emerging prospects. Only last year, they signed an 18-year-old Carney Chukwuemeka on a £100,000-a-week contract.
No other club is likely to go anywhere near that kind of offer for Ethan Nwaneri, talented as he may be, although the player’s decision will largely depend on his priorities.
Should Manchester United make an offer guaranteeing a pathway into the first-team, perhaps with assurances of support and guidance upon moving North, they may stand a chance of completed what would be one of the most controversial signings if the summer.
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