Manchester United are reportedly set to miss out on the signing of Grimsby Town starlet Ben Grist, who is closing in on a transfer to Leicester City.

According to an exclusive report from the Daily Mail, Manchester United are set to face defeat in their pursuit of highly-rated Grimsby Town midfielder Ben Grist, with the teenager poised to sign for Leicester City.

Grist, 16, is held in the high regards at Grimsby Town, who were recently relegated from the EFL League Two. The young midfielder has been in and around the first-team since last year and was on the bench for the Mariners’ EFL Trophy penalty shootout win against Harrogate Town in September 2020 but he is yet to make his debut for the senior side.

Grist’s potential had seemingly put him on the radars of Manchester United. The Red Devils, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, have once again reverted their focus to strengthening their youth ranks and to that end, the club have recruited quite robustly to bolster their academy squads and reserves over the past year or so.

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Indeed, Manchester United have roped in special talents such as Charlie McNeill, who is already making quite the wave with the reserve team while the likes of Willy Kambwalla, Marc Jurado, Isak Hansen-Aaroen are some among many youngsters that the 2o-time English champions have brought in. And with the new rules imposed by Brexit, the focus will continue to be more and more on securing young, homegrown talent.

This has seen Manchester United get linked with a move for Andrew Moran of Brighton & Hove Albion as well as Aston Villa prodigy Carney Chukwuemeka among a number of other players. And, Grimsby Town starlet Grist, too, had emerged as a potential target for the Mancunian giants ahead of the summer window.

Apart from Manchester United, the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool had also shown an interest in the teenager, although it was largely expected that the Red Devils were set to secure Grist’s services. However, according to information revealed by club sources to the Daily Mail, the 16-year-old is instead headed to the Red Devils’ Premier League rivals Leicester City.

This is another setback Manchester United have suffered on the youth transfer front in a short time, with Aston Villa set to beat them to the signing of Dundee United whizkid Kerr Smith.

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