Fulham are adamant that they will not sell Ryan Sessegnon this month, handing Manchester United and Tottenham a major blow in his pursuit.

Fulham vice-chairman Tony Khan, as reported by The Telegraph, has announced that teenage defensive prodigy Ryan Sessegnon will not be sold to any club in the winter transfer window. Manchester United and Tottenham have been heavily linked with a move for the 17-year-old.

Sessegnon has the world at his feet at the nascent age of 17, having made his senior debut for Fulham last season, aged just 16. In over a year, the player’s progress has been so dramatic that he is now regarded as one of the most exciting young prospects in the world, with the who’s who of European football chasing him.

After a fantastic debut campaign for the Cottagers, Sessegnon has been even more impressive this time around, making 29 appearances for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side. In addition to his ever improving defensive performances, the teenager also has seven goals and four assists, a return which showcases his attacking abilities.

It’s not surprising either that a number of clubs have been attempting to sign him for well over a year now. Among these, Manchester United and Tottenham are the biggest names that remain in his pursuit, with both clubs eyeing a January move for the player.

At Old Trafford, left-back is a position that has given Jose Mourinho a lot of problems, with Luke Shaw only recently becoming a regular under him. In the absence of Shaw, the Manchester United boss has used several others as makeshift left-backs, with only Ashley Young managing to be consistent enough.

But, Young is on the wrong side of 30, and very much in the twilight years of his top level footballing career, making Sessegnon a viable long-term addition. Manchester United though, face stiff competition from Tottenham in pursuit of the 17-year-old.

At the North London club, the future of Danny Rose has been mired in uncertainty, with the Englishman also coincidentally linked with Manchester United. Should Rose call it quits at Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino will have just Ben Davies as a natural left-back at his disposal, making Sessegnon a worthy candidate to replace his compatriot.

But, Manchester United and Tottenham have now received a major blow in pursuit of the player, with Fulham vice-chairman and director of football operations, Tony Khan insisting that the 17-year-old will not be sold this month, despite widespread interest in his services.

“As it’s been the subject of a great deal of speculation, I’d like to announce that Ryan Sessegnon is staying with Fulham football club and will not be departing during this January transfer window. Ryan is a very important part of the Fulham family, and we’re grateful that he’ll be with us as we fight to achieve promotion this season.”

The decision to keep hold of Sessegnon does make sense, with Fulham hoping to make a late bid to achieve promotion to the Premier League. The West London club are currently 10 points behind second placed Derby County – a gap that certainly can be plugged in the remaining 20 games.

With the player unlikely to be sold now, Manchester United and Tottenham will either have to wait till the summer to launch an attempt to sign him, or turn their attention elsewhere. With their respective problems seemingly not being a pressing one for the remainder of the season, they might just be prepared to wait.

A fierce summer battle for Sessegnon though, might just be on the cards, with the report entailing that the player could break the £36 million transfer fee for a teenager, that Manchester United paid for Anthony Martial in 2015.

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