Championship also-rans Leeds will be readying the red carpet ahead of the summer visit of a host of Premier League A-listers, all keen to win the hand of teen sensation Lewis Cook.
It’s believed Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are all interested in the 18-year-old, but of the raft of tantalising options laid at the youngster’s feet, it’s a move to Manchester United he should favour.
A price of 14/1 says the England Under-19 ace will play a Premier League game for the Red Devils in 2015, which doesn’t rate too bad a price given their reported interest and his ability.
It’s believed Cook will cost £12m after establishing himself as an integral part of the Whites’ first-team despite his lack of experience.
Deployed in front of the back four, the graduate of the Elland Road club’s academy has proven himself adept at both winning back possession and retaining it this term.
In his 37 second-tier appearances to date he is yet to score for the west Yorkshire giants, but an average of 2.2 tackles per outing and two interceptions has contributed to his apparent catching the eye of Louis van Gaal’s recruitment team.
Despite the furore this would cause amongst supporters of his current club, if Cook plans on bidding his Leeds teammates adieu this summer, he would be foolish to pledge allegiance anywhere but Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have a fine track record of advancing the careers of the brightest English talents.
Wayne Rooney blossomed into one of the world’s finest players following his £27m switch to the Red Devils from Everton in 2004 when he was the same age as Cook.
Less obvious examples of how talented English prodigies have flourished with the 20-time English champions take the shape of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, whose raw materials were moulded into those of international footballers from their stint on the Theatre of Dreams’ stage.
Sought-after superstar-in-training Luke Shaw regarded a move to Man Utd as the most sensible solution to his new club quandary when leaving Southampton last summer too.
All had a wealth of high-profile options to select from, yet made the right move in picking the Reds and Cook should follow their lead.
Under Van Gaal’s guidance he’s assured of game time, with the likes of Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett and James Wilson all afforded ample first-team experience this term despite their tender years.
Clubs such as Chelsea and Man City can’t promise this, nor do they boast the success rate of helping youngsters realise their potential.