Manchester City have shelved out a record £175,000 to beat Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal to land Southend United prodigy Finley Burns.

As per an exclusive by The Times, Manchester City have shelved out a record £175,000 to land the highly-rated Southend United prodigy Finley Burns. The 13-year-old was also courted by the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal but the Citizens have stolen a march on their competitors.

The transfer fee, which is an exclusive reveal by the Times, could reportedly rise to a total of £250,000 depending on how the talent develops. Finley was impressed by the state-of-the-art youth facilities available at Etihad and also at the overall project, which tipped the 13-year-old towards the blue half of Manchester.

The fee is reflective of how the transfer market has come of age and how big clubs like City are not hesitant to shelve out loads of cash to land a prodigious talent like Burns, especially in this case, with City paying more than what was required as per the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).

As per the aforementioned plan, City had to pay only £34,000 for Burns but ended up paying £175,000 for the 13-year-old.

Burns was already a part of Southend United’s Under-16 squad, which had brought forth the attention of top clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City among others. The 13-year-old was free to leave Roots Hall in the summer and it seems he has found a new home, something his academy manager Ricky Duncan reflected on.

He said, as quoted by Daily Mail,“ He’s a great kid from a nice family and everything was sorted out amicably which is how it should be. We would prefer our best young players to come through and play for our first team but the fact Manchester City are aware of youth players at Southend United reflects very well on what everyone is doing here.”

“ Man City could sign anyone from across the world so for them to come to us is a real compliment. We’re still in touch and we wish him all the very best for the future.”

Manchester City have been acquiring talents for their academy squad in the last few years and have managed to make a formidable youth squad, one that has been dominating the youth leagues at almost age levels, one of the highlights being a 9-0 drubbing of rivals Manchester United at the academy level.

Sometimes, the players who are very highly rated at such an early age fizzle out as they grow while sometimes they grow up to live up to the tag of being a prodigy. It will be interesting to map Finley’s journey as he develops himself as a footballer at one of the most enterprising youth setups at the present moment.

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