Manchester United are reportedly in the driver’s seat to sign Blackburn Rovers whizkid Ashley Phillips, who is also a target for Tottenham.
According to Football Insider, Manchester United are leading the race to sign Ashley Phillips. The Blackburn Rovers youth defender has become one of the most sought-after prospects in the lower division of English football, with multiple top clubs across Premier League keen on securing his services.
The likes of Arsenal and Tottenham are closely monitoring the progress of the young centre-back at Blackburn. However, the report suggests Manchester United are in the driver’s seat, identifying the youngster as a priority, as they look to reinforce their ranks in the youth department.
A centre-back by trade, Phillips currently plies his trade for Blackburn’s Under-18 side. At the age of just 16, the defender has impressed the onlookers with his imposing 1.92m frame, coupled with his composure that has seen the player represent the reserve team in the Elite Development League on multiple occasions this season.
In fact, Phillips has also trained with Blackburn Rovers’ first-team, at times, which suggests the youngster is prepared to take the next step in his career. It has led to widespread speculations over his future, with Manchester United among the clubs hoping to snap him up in the summer.
The Red Devils are bracing themselves for a summer of change when Ralf Rangnick will take up his role as a consultant alongside new CEO Richard Arnold. Manchester United are also expected to hire a new coach, with Spain boss Luis Enrique firmly in their sights.
Under the leadership of Rangnick, youth development could become a crucial factor behind the club’s policy, as it looks to embark on a new era. In Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, and Scott McTominay, Manchester United have nurtured youth talents in the past, and in Phillips, they are looking to further enhance their youth department before eventually giving him the opportunity to make a breakthrough.
At 16, the Blackburn centre-back is likely to be drafted in Manchester United’s Under-18 setup. He may even join the reserve team, though it won’t be surprising to see the defender being loaned back to Blackburn in order to gain more first-team experience.
However, in the midst of all this, the Red Devils may still need to be wary of interest from Tottenham and Chelsea. The two London clubs have showcased the desire to invest in young players and can never be ruled out of the chase for the youngster.