Who is Manchester United transfer target Thierry Small and is a deal likely to happen?

Manchester United’s reported interest in Thierry Small is on one hand the most contradicatory rumour of the summer. It may also be a possible move to keep an eye on.

Small is on Everton’s books and is regarded as one of their most promising youngsters. He is a left-back who has already made his first team debut at the age of 16.

This week a report from The Athletic claimed Small has not turned up to first team training because he wants to force a move. The report says Manchester United are one of the main clubs showing an interest.

It makes sense for United to be eyeing up top young British talent. Brexit restrictions means United can no longer sign non-EU players under 16, like the deal which brought Hannibal to Carrington.

Photo by Emma Simpson – Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

Are United a red herring?

The reported reasoning for Small’s unhappiness at Everton is mixed when it comes to United.

It is claimed Small is keen on leaving because he feels he will not be able to displace Lucas Digne from Everton’s first team.

With this in mind it would be odd if he joined United. Luke Shaw is going to be near impossible to dislodge, if he can even get to the point to compete with him.

Alex Telles and Brandon Williams are both in his path, as is Spanish talent Alvaro Fernandez and England youth international Logan Pye.

There have been reports linking Alex Telles with an exit, with Di Marzio reporting Roma are keen. It’s possible if one of the obstacles were removed from his path that a move to United would become more appealing, but Shaw is an even more daunting prospect to try and dislodge than Digne.

Top talent

Small is a bright talent, scoring three goals in 13 games for the under-23s for Everton last season.

It is possible his head could have been turned by United’s interest regardless of Shaw being in his path.

Photo by Emma Simpson – Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton are a good club, and Small may have to take a step down to play regular football. But his other option is to move up, and take the view that if he is going to have a tough task of competing for first team action, he might as well do so at the biggest club possible.

If United rate him highly enough and believe him to be better than the club’s current youth options, then it is very possible this is a deal the club will pursue.

At the same time don’t be surprised if this one amount to nothing and even ends up with the player eventually renewing a new deal with Everton. We have seen these type of scenarios play out many times before.

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