Premier League giants Manchester United and Newcastle United are reportedly eyeing a January swoop for Rangers whizkid Leon King.
According to Football Insider, Rangers are set to face a major battle in their quest to keep hold of Leon King. The 17-year-old prospect has become one of the most in-demand youngsters in the United Kingdom, with Manchester United and Newcastle United both eyeing a move in the upcoming January transfer window.
A centre-back by trade, King was courted by Premier League clubs last year as well. But Rangers managed to fend off interest and make him sign his first professional contract. At the age of just 16, the teenage prodigy made his professional debut last season in a cup game against Falkirk.
Since then, the 17-year-old has featured in only one more competitive game for Rangers, in the form of a late appearance against Livingston FC during the end of last season. This term, he is yet to make a single competitive appearance, largely playing for the Rangers reserves and the youth team in the UEFA Youth League.
But that has not deterred Manchester United and Newcastle United, who are keeping close tabs on King’s current situation at Rangers. The player’s current deal at Ibrox expires at the end of the season, which means he is eligible to leave the club for free next summer.
Manchester United are already hoping to kickstart talks over a potential January move, with the defender reportedly available for a fee of £250,000. It could be a massive bargain for the Red Devils, who could be headed towards a new era in light of the imminent arrival of Ralf Rangnick.
The German mastermind is set to be in charge of United on an interim basis until the end of the season before continuing as a consultant in the coming years. During his time at RB Leipzig and TSG Hoffenheim, Rangnick had built a solid reputation for his ability to nurture talent and build an excellent youth program.
Leon King, in that regard, could be an excellent addition to the Manchester United youth setup that has already produced talents such as Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford in recent years. As for Newcastle, they are hoping to snap up the young Scotsman as a potential future investment that could be useful, especially if they end up being relegated from the Premier League this term.