Manchester United have now been linked with a move for Stoke City youngster Nathan Collins.
The Sun claim the Red Devils are considering a bid as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer assesses his summer targets.
It is claimed he has been personally recommended by teammate Darren Fletcher.
Here is a look at five facts about Collins…
- Collins is just 18-years-old and has three Championship appearances to his name. He made his debut in April, becoming Stoke’s youngest starter since 1997.
- The young centre-back is a Republic of Ireland youth international, capped at under-17 and under-19 levels.
- He played for Stoke’s under-23 side against Manchester United in February, starring in a 3-1 win for his team, a game in which Mason Greenwood did not feature.
- Collins comes from a footballing family. His dad David played for Oxford United and was once on Liverpool’s books as a teenager. His grandad was also a professional footballer in Ireland. He told the Irish Independent: “My dad got to mark Luis Figo at the Youth World Cup.”
- Collins wants to play first team football next season. He told Stoke’s website last month: “I want to work hard, get into the first team and play there next season. I just want to play football and enjoy myself, hopefully it’ll be with Stoke City next season.”
Collins is the type of young, promising signing United should be attempting to make for the future, especially considering the lack of standout options at centre-backs in the under-23s this season.
One option would be to sign Collins now and loan him back to Stoke for the season so he can play regularly.
United need to make big name, proven centre-back additions, but a cheap gamble on 18-year-old Collins could pay off later down the line.
Read more: £100m rated star wants to return to Manchester United
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