Manchester United have beaten bitter rivals Arsenal to the signing of one of Europe’s most promising young talents, according to reports.
The Gunners were among a host of top European clubs to have monitored the progress of 16-year-old Feyenoord striker Tahith Chong but the youngster is said to have chosen a future at Old Trafford.
Chong revealed that United were among a number of interested parties back in January and Dutch journalist Mikos Gouka now claims a deal has been agreed that will see the teenager join up with the United squad as soon as this summer.
It is likely that any deal would depend on the future of United boss and former Holland manager Louis van Gaal with the Dutchman’s reputation for blooding young players a considerable draw to prospects across the continent.
The Red Devils boss has put his faith in the likes of Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford this season while Timothy Fosu-Mensah has also come into the fold of late.
It is the latter too who is most likely to convince Chong that Old Trafford is the best place for him to progress his career.
The former Ajax youth and Holland U17 captain was recently one of just three teens based in the Premier League to be named in the Guardian’s annual 50 Best Young Players In Europe list and his impressive displays for United’s reserves have been rewarded with promotion to the first team.
Teaming up with Van Gaal would therefore certainly appeal to the Feyenoord prospect and while many have written of the current manager’s chances of retaining his position his departure looks less likely now than in recent weeks.
The derby win over City at the weekend means the Red Devils are now just a point behind their noisy neighbours in the race to finish in the top four and with his side 7/2 second favourites to win the FA Cup there is plenty to suggest LVG can salvage something from this season and continue to attract some of Europe’s brightest young stars, starting with Chong.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.