Manchester United have started their academy recruitment early ahead of next season and have beaten Arsenal and Tottenham to the signing of Joe Hugill.
Manchester United are close to finalising a deal for Sunderland youngster Joe Hugill.
The MEN understands United have been working on a £300,000 move for Hugill, 16, in recent months and fought off competition from Tottenham, Arsenal, Wolves, and Leeds. German clubs also expressed interest in Hugill, although he did not receive an offer from any Bundesliga clubs.
Hugill does not turn 17 until October and could be named among United’s academy intake for the 2020-21 season. The striker scored a hat-trick for Sunderland in the FA Youth Cup and Hugill netted a brace on his Under-23 debut.
United was interested in signing Sam Greenwood from Sunderland last year but the England Under-18 international joined Arsenal.
Former academy head Nicky Butt oversaw an aggressive recruitment drive following his appointment in February 2016. Tahith Chong, Charlie McCann, France youth international Aliou Traore, Spaniard Arnau Puigmal, Largie Ramazani, and Harvey Neville were some of the high-profile arrivals on Butt’s watch.
Although it was confirmed last week the U23 and U18 seasons have been canceled United could fulfill their FA Youth Cup semi-final with Chelsea at a neutral venue, but no decision has been made on the competition’s possible completion.
United beat Lincoln, Norwich, Leeds, and Wigan to reach the last four for the first time since 2012.