Manchester United are in “advanced talks” to send Rhys Bennett on loan to Stockport County for the remainder of the season.
Pete O’Rourke (footballinsider247) reveals a number of League Two sides have “expressed an interest” in taking the 20-year-old on loan but it appears Stockport have won the race.
The club’s proximity to Manchester is likely to be an appealing factor as Bennett would be able to maintain his current living situation with Edgeley Park around a twenty-minute drive from Old Trafford.
Bennett, a centre-back, joined United at the under-ten level and has been at the club ever since.
He has made sixty-two appearances for the under-18 and under-23 sides, captaining United to FA Youth Cup success two years ago. The defender even scored in the final to help his side to victory.
Bennett received a new contract with the club last summer, alongside fellow graduate Dan Gore, who is also receiving interest across the English football league as a prospective loanee.
Though the 20-year-old is yet to make his senior debut for United, he is thought to be “highly-rated” by the coaching staff at Old Trafford.
This belief in the defender’s talent was illustrated in his inclusion in the match-day squad for the recent trip to the DW Stadium, where United beat Wigan Athletic two-nil in the FA Cup third round.
Erik ten Hag’s side will face off against Newport County in the next round of the cup – the League Two side sit currently in 17th in the table with Stockport in first place.
As such, Bennett will be joining a side pushing to be champions, looking to secure a title and automatic qualification into League One. This constitutes an ideal context for the 20-year-old to be thrust into.
No academy graduate will be able to succeed at United without first being able to prove they can handle the pressure and expectation to challenge for trophies.
O’Rourke reveals Old Trafford officials are “eager for [Bennett] to earn valuable senior minutes” at the League Two side which should help the centre-back take the next step in his development as a player.